Savage, Candace (1949-)

Candace Savage was born on December 2, 1949, in Grande Prairie, Alberta, and grew up with the love of books and reading. Both her parents were teachers, and according to them her first word was “book.” In 1967, Savage entered the University of Alberta on a scholarship, and graduated with not only an Honours Degree in English, but also the Governor General’s Gold Medal and the Rutherford Gold Medal. In 1970, she married Arthur Savage, a physics graduate, and they moved to Saskatoon, where she began to write. Her first books, A Harvest Yet to Reap (co-authored) and Our Nell: A Scrapbook Biography of Nellie L. McClung, explored the history of women in western Canada. Arthur decided he wished to write also, and together the couple produced a book of western Canadian mammals. Wildlife, natural sciences, environmental issues, and women’s history became the subject areas of the many works Candace Savage has published since 1979. She also produced a children’s book, An Amazing Journey Through the Last Great Age of Magic, which examined the practice of magic and its transition to science in the 17th century. Candace Savage’s books have been reprinted in several languages, and many of her publications are available in school libraries in Alberta, as gifts of the provincial government. She is a frequent guest speaker at schools, conferences and festivals.

Savage has been shortlisted for the Bill Duthie Award, BC Book Awards, for Bird Brains (1995), and the Science in Society Book Awards, Canadian Science Writers’ Association for Aurora and Bird Brains (1994 and 1995). She received the Honour Roll, Rachel Carson Institute, Chatham College (1994), and the Honour Book Award, Children’s Literature Roundtable, for Trash Attack! (1991). In 2004, she completed Prairie: A Natural History, which won two Saskatchewan Book Awards.

The birth of her daughter in 1979, followed two years later by the death of her husband, Arthur, meant that Savage was on the move yet again, working in Edmonton and Yellowknife before returning to Saskatoon in 1990 for a term as writer-in-residence at the Public Library. Savage now shares her home with her daughter and her partner, Keith Bell.

Christian Thompson