Winter, Michael

Michael Winter, short-story writer, novelist (b at Jarrow, England 1965). Michael Winter was born in England, but grew up in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Memorial University of Newfoundland and was a founding member of The Burning Rock Collective, a group of writers that includes Ramona Dearing and LISA MOORE. Winter served as the editor-in-chief for the first collection produced by The Burning Rock, Extremities, (1994) which includes his story "Wormholes." He was also a contributor to the collective's second publication, Hearts Larry Broke (2000). Winter was the co-editor of Newfoundland's premier but now defunct literary journal, Tickle Ace, for eight years.

In the same year that Extremities was released, Winter produced his own collection of short stories, Creaking in Their Skins (1994). Readers met here for the first time Gabriel English, Winter's sometime alter ego and the protagonist of his first three publications. One Last Good Look (1999) is another collection of short stories, which follows Gabriel as the young Newfoundlander leaves home, finds love, loses love, and moves from observing to actually living in the world around him. In 2000 Winter published This All Happened, a "fictional memoir" that won the Winterset Award for Excellence in Newfoundland Writing. This novel follows an adult Gabriel through the streets, pubs, and art galleries of St John's. Presented as a diary, This All Happened is a collection of 365 entries by Gabriel. He records - among other things - the demise of his relationship with filmmaker Lydia Murphy, the progress of the novel he is supposed to be writing, and the characters, locations, and changes that define contemporary St John's.

Winter's latest novel is The Big Why (2004), a fictional account of American artist Rockwell Kent and the tumultuous time he spent in Brigus, Newfoundland, in 1914. Winter brings to life this well-known artist, who would eventually be deported from the country on suspicion of being a German spy. The novel also conveys provocative portrayals of the Brigus-born Arctic explorer Bob Bartlett and Newfoundland historian Judge D.W. Prowse. In producing this often hilarious, sometimes scandalous novel, Winter continues his tradition of foreshadowing his next work. In One Last Good Look, Gabriel is writing in a diary that would become This All Happened; he discusses therein his novel-in-progress: a fictionalization of Rockwell Kent's stay in Newfoundland. In addition to these connections, Winter's works have in common a free-flowing, vibrant dialogue, presented without quotation marks. His characters' speech ranges from contemplative and meandering to rapid fire and piercing. The Big Why won the Drummer's General Award and was short-listed for the Trillium and Thomas Raddall awards.