Jean Margaret Laurence, CC (née Wemyss) (18 July 1926 – 5 January 1987) was a Canadian novelist and short story writer, and is one of the major figures in Canadian literature. She was also a founder of the Writers' Trust of Canada, a non-profit literary organization that seeks to encourage Canada's writing communityAfter graduation she worked as a reporter on the Winnipeg Citizen, a labor daily. In 1948 she married Jack Laurence, a civil engineering graduate from the University of Manitoba. In 1949 the Laurences went to England and in 1950 to Africa, where Jack Laurence was in charge of a dam-building project in Somaliland (now Somalia). In 1952 they moved to the Gold Coast (now Ghana), where they lived until 1957. Their daughter, Jocelyn, was born during a leave in England in 1952; their son, David, in Ghana in 1955. The Laurences returned to Vancouver, Canada, in 1957. In 1962 Margaret Laurence moved with her children to England, where she lived until moving back to Canada permanently in 1974. The Laurences were divorced in 1969. After 1974 Margaret Laurence lived in Lakefield, Ontario, a small town near the city of Peterborough. Much of her last novel, The Diviners, was written at a cottage on the Otonabee River, near her home in Lakefield.

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