Leslie Gordon Barnard

Leslie Gordon Barnard, short story writer (b at Montréal, 1890; d at Toronto, 1961). Born in Montréal, Leslie Gordon Barnard was one of Canada's most prolific SHORT STORY writers. He began writing at an early age and after serving as a lieutenant with the YMCA during WORLD WAR I, he continued his prodigious output. During his career Barnard published several hundred short stories in various MAGAZINES and serials throughout North America, including Canadian Magazine, MACLEAN'S, Family Herald, National Home Monthly, and Canadian Home Journal. His work was also published in collections such as So Near is Grandeur (1945), One Generation Away (1931) and Jancis (1935).

Leslie Gordon Barnard's place in Canadian LITERARY HISTORY has been undervalued due to his choice of genre, POPULAR fiction. Such formulaic, oftentimes predictable writing can hamper an author's ability to be recognized as contributing to literary culture. The sheer number of short stories Barnard published, however, indicates not only his skill in writing within the genre, but also the high demand for his work by readers. While not as highly praised as canonical short-story writers of his lifetime such as Stephen LEACOCK or Morley CALLAGHAN, Leslie Gordon Barnard enjoyed great success, and as critics have begun to recognize the importance of popular fiction as a cultural representation and a form that can capture the mood of an era or generation, Barnard's contributions to it and his place in Canadian literary history are becoming recognized.

Leslie Gordon Barnard served as president of the CANADIAN AUTHORS ASSOCIATION and president of the Montréal branch of PEN Club.