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Ann-Marie MacDonald

Ann-Marie MacDonald achieved considerable success as an actor and playwright before she rocketed to the best sellers lists with her first novel, Fall on Your Knees. She was born at the Canadian Forces Base in Baden-Baden, West Germany and grew up in several communities. Her Lebanese mother came from Sydney, Nova Scotia, and her father from nearby New Waterford. Fall on Your Knees draws upon her Lebanese and Cape Breton, N.S. heritage. Based on the success of her second novel, The Way the Crow Flies, the Canadian Booksellers Association nominated MacDonald for its 2004 Libris Award for Author of the Year.
MacDonald graduated from the National Theatre School in Montreal in 1980. She lives in Toronto and Montreal. On Dec. 27, 2018, MacDonald was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her “multi-faceted contributions to the arts in Canada and for her advocacy of LGBTQ+ and women’s rights.”
Some of MacDonald’s playscripts are available as digital scripts from the Canadian Play Outlet.
Adult Onset book cover


Adult Onset

Toronto: A.A. Knopf Canada, 2014.
PS8575 .D38 A63 2014

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Adult Onset is a powerful drama about motherhood, the dark undercurrents that break and hold families together, and the power and pressures of love.

Awards and Honours

2015 Lambda Literary Award–Lesbian General Fiction (Finalist)


Fall on Your Knees

Toronto: A.A. Knopf Canada, 1996.
Toronto: Vintage Canada, 1997.
PS8575 .D38 F3 1997

Publisher’s Synopsis

Awards and Honours

1996 Commonwealth Book Prize –Best First Book (Winner)
1997 Canadian Authors Association Literary Award–Adult Fiction(Winner)
1997 Dartmouth Book Award–Fiction (Winner)
1997 Torgi Literary Awards for Books in Alternative Formats (CNIB-Produced fiction)(Co-winner)
1998 Libris Award – Fiction Book of the Year (Canadian Booksellers Association)(Winner)
2002 Oprah’s Book Club
2010 Canada Reads (CBC Radio) (Finalist)


The Way the Crow Flies

Toronto: A.A. Knopf Canada, 2003.
PS8575 .D38 W39 2003

Publisher’s Synopsis

Awards and Honours

2003 Giller Prize (Nominated)
2004 Commonwealth Book Prize –Best Book (Caribbean and Canada Region)(Nominated)
2004 Libris Award – Fiction Book of the Year (Canadian Booksellers Association)(Winner)
2004 Libris Award – Marketing Achievement of the Year (Canadian Booksellers Association)(Nominated)

Anthology (Short story)

“The Hanged Man.” In Gothic Toronto: Writing the City Macabre, ed. Helen Walsh. Toronto: Diaspora Dialogues, 2009, 51-64.
PS8329.7 .T6 G57 2009


The Arab’s Mouth

Winnipeg: Blizzard Pub., 1995

This play was reworked into Belle Moral: A Natural History


The Attic, the Pearls and 3 Fine Girls

Co-authored with: Jennifer Brewin, Leah Cherniak, Alisa Palmer & Martha Ross.

Toronto: PUC Play Service, 1997.
Winnipeg: Scirocco Drama, 1999.
PS8500 .A88 1999

Publisher’s Synopsis (Scirocco Drama website)

Jayne is a bi-sexual corporate shark, Jojo is a university professor obsessed with Brecht, and Jelly is an eccentric artist who loves boxes. A romp through the attic in the home of their recently-deceased father reminds the Fine sisters of their childhood and forces them to redefine their future together.


Belle Moral: A Natural History

Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2005.
PS8575 .D38 B45 2005

This play is a reworking of The Arab’s Mouth.


Goodnight Desdemona (good morning Juliet)

Toronto: Coach House Press, 1990.
Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 1996, c1990.
Toronto: Vintage Canada, 1998, c1990.
PS8575 .D38 G66 1997
PS8575 .D38 G66 1998

Publisher’s Synopsis

Awards and Honours

1990 Governor General’s Literary Award–English Drama (Winner)

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Atkinson, Andrew Peter. “Saltwater Sacraments and Backwoods Sins: Contemporary Atlantic Canadian Literature and the Rise of Literary Catholicism.” Ph.D. diss., Wilfrid Laurier University, 2009.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Breen, Margaret Sönser. “Remaking Gender Systems of Story: Sexual Violence in Bastard Out of Carolina and The Way the Crow Flies.” Chap. in her Narratives of Queer Desire: Deserts of the Heart. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, 92-115.
PS153 .G38 B74 2009

Canadian Review of American Studies. Vol. 35, no. 2 (2005). Special issue: Ann-Marie Macdonald. Guest eds. Sara Matthews, Trish Salah and Dina Georgis.

Derksen, Celeste Daphne Anne. “Female Subjects in Selected Dramatic Comedies by Canadian Women.” Ph.D. diss., University of Victoria, 1999.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Flaherty, Jennifer. “”Chronicles of Our Time”: Feminism and Postcolonialism in Appropriations of Shakespeare’s Plays.” Ph.D. diss., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Gordon, Neta. “Chartered Territory: Women Writing Genealogy in Recent Canadian Fiction.” Ph.D. diss., Queen’s University at Kingston, 2002.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Hadfield, Dorothy Anita Lammert. “Reproducing Women’s Dramatic History: The Politics of Playing in Toronto.” Ph.D. diss., University of Western Ontario, 1999.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Heiland, Donna. “Feminist, Postmodern, Postcolonial: Margaret Atwood and Ann-Marie Macdonald Respond to the Gothic.” Chap. in her Gothic & Gender: An Introduction. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2004, 156-179.
PR830 .T3 H37 2004

Howells, Coral Ann . “”How Do We Know We Are Who We Think We Are?”: Ann-Marie Macdonald.” In her Contemporary Canadian Women’s Fiction: Refiguring Identities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
PS8089.5 .W6 H67 2003

Kennedy, Janet T. “Contemporary Canadian Women’s Fiction: A Jungian Reading of Ying Chen’s “L’Ingratitude”, Christiane Frenette’s “La Terre ferme”, Ann-Marie MacDonald’s “Fall on Your Knees”, and Anne Michaels’ “Fugitive Pieces”.” Ph.D. diss., Universite de Sherbrooke, 2002.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses

MacKay, Ellen. “The Spectre of Straight Shakespeare: New Ways of Looking at Old Texts in Goodnight, Desdemona and Mad Boy Chronicle.” In Canadian Shakespeare, edited by Susan Knutson. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2010, [69]-76.
PR2880 .A1 C375 2010

Ramaswamy, S. “Beyond Feminism: Ann-Marie Macdonald’s Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet).” In his Commentaries on Canadian Literature. New Delhi: Prestige Books, 2006, 80-89.
PS8077.1 .R36 2006

Scott, Shelley. “Desdemona, Juliet and Constance Meet the Third Wave.” In Canadian Shakespeare, edited by Susan Knutson. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2010, [146]-157.
PR2880 .A1 C375 2010

von Hahn, Dina. “The Challenge of Balance: A Personal Exploration of “Wuthering Heights” and “Fall on Your Knees”.” M.A. diss., California State University, Dominguez Hills, 2000.
Available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses


Ann-Marie MacDonald personal website

Playwrights Guild of Canada entry includes a complete list of plays available.

Publisher Penguin Random House Canada

Reading Guide to Fall on Your Knees

Reading Guide to The Way the Crow Flies

Amnesty International book club discussion of Fall on Your Knees