Open main menu

David Demchuk is a Canadian playwright and novelist,[1] who received a longlisted Scotiabank Giller Prize nomination in 2017 for his debut novel The Bone Mother.[2]

Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba,[2] he moved to Toronto, Ontario in 1984.

His plays have included Rosalie Sings Alone (1985),[3] If Betty Should Rise (1985),[4] Touch (1986),[5] The World We Live On Turns So That the Sun Appears to Rise (1987),[1] Stay (1990), Mattachine (1991),[6] Thieves in the Night (1992)[7] and The Power of Invention.[8] He received a special Dora Mavor Moore Award in 1986 for Touch.[9] In 1992, Touch was included in Making Out, the first anthology of Canadian plays by gay writers, alongside works by Ken Garnhum, Sky Gilbert, Daniel MacIvor, Harry Rintoul and Colin Thomas.[10]

After the mid-1990s, Demchuk stopped writing new plays, concentrating on his work at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and on writing scripts for radio, film and television.[11] In 1999, he wrote the radio drama Alice in Cyberspace, a contemporary reworking of Alice in Wonderland which aired for ten episodes on CBC Radio's This Morning.[12] His other radio dramas included Alaska, The Island of Dr. Moreau and The Winter Market. In June 2012, he became a contributing writer for the online magazine Torontoist.[13]

The Bone Mother was published in 2017 by ChiZine Publications.[14] It was the first horror-themed novel ever to receive a nomination for the Giller, an award more commonly associated with conventional literary fiction rather than genre fiction.[15] The book was a shortlisted finalist for the 2018 First Novel Award.[16]


  1. ^ a b "Demchuk, David". Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia, March 26, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Winnipeg-born author on Giller Prize long list". CTV Winnipeg, September 18, 2017.
  3. ^ "Trio of one-act plays doesn't add up to much". The Globe and Mail, August 16, 1985.
  4. ^ "Powerful, well-acted drama gains little from new first act". Toronto Star, August 8, 1986.
  5. ^ "Two plays provide exception to stock fare at Rhubarb '86". The Globe and Mail, February 24, 1986.
  6. ^ "Fringe helped his Betty to rise again". Toronto Star, June 28, 1991.
  7. ^ "Fistful of gems at new play fest". Toronto Star, July 19, 1992.
  8. ^ "The dark is needed to appreciate the light". Toronto Star, August 12, 1989.
  9. ^ "Dora smiles on Tarragon with record 17 nominations". The Globe and Mail, May 15, 1986.
  10. ^ "Book symbolizes gays' advances". The Globe and Mail, June 4, 1992.
  11. ^ "Whatever happened to that hot young playwright? David Demchuk has gone to CBC but one of his plays returns." Toronto Star, May 13, 1999.
  12. ^ "Modern Alice". Calgary Herald, December 15, 1999.
  13. ^ Torontoist (2012-06-20). "Home, a Toronto Indie Game That Will Mess With Your Head". Torontoist. Retrieved 2017-09-23.
  14. ^ "Review: Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi's Kintu, David Demchuk's The Bone Mother and Pierre-Luc Landry's Listening for Jupiter". The Globe and Mail, August 25, 2017.
  15. ^ "Three first-time authors make Giller Prize longlist". The Globe and Mail, September 18, 2017.
  16. ^ "Sharon Bala, Omar El Akkad among finalists for $40K First Novel Award". CBC Books, April 28, 2018.