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Grace, Sherrill E.
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Sherrill Grace was born in Ormstown, Quebec, in 1944. She attended the University of Western Ontario (Western University) from 1962-1965, earning her BA in English. She then moved to Cambridge, England, for three years, where her husband completed his Ph.D., and together they began a family. From 1968 through 1974, Grace worked on her graduate education at McGill University, completing her MA in 1970 and her Ph.D. in 1974.
Her Doctoral research focused on Malcolm Lowry. This research would lead to several publications throughout her career, including 1982’s The Voyage That Never Ends: Malcolm Lowry’s Fiction and the two-volume Sursum Corda! The Collected Letters of Malcolm Lowry (1995, 1996).
While researching her Ph.D., Grace came to the University of British Columbia’s archives to study Malcolm Lowry’s letters for three weeks. After teaching for a few years at McGill, she returned to UBC, joining the English department in 1977. In 1987 she was appointed to the rank of full professor. She was Associate Dean of Arts for three years, a UBC Senator for nine, and Head of the Department between 1997 and 2002.
Grace is a member of several professional associations, including the Royal Society of Canada, where she has been a fellow since 1991. In 2006 UBC awarded her with the Killam Teaching Prize, then in 2008, she earned the Killiam Prize. In 2011 this culminated with UBC’s highest honour, and she was awarded the title University Killiam Professor. Grace was given the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013. In 2014 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada to promote Canadian identity and culture through her work which includes over 200 articles and 19 books.
In addition to her research on Malcolm Lowry, in 2014, Grace donated material from her research on Sharon Pollock from her biography entitled Making Theatre: A Life of Sharon Pollock (2008) to the University of British Columbia Archives. A second donation was made in 2015 with materials from her research from Canada and the Idea of North, Inventing Tom Thompson, and On the Art of Being Canadian.