Aritha van Herk

(698 words)
  • Christl Verduyn (Mount Allison University)

Aritha van Herk swept to international literary acclaim at an early age, winning the first ever Seal Books (Canada) $50,000 First Novel Award in 1978 for Judith, the story of a young woman who leaves her secretarial job to take up pig farming. She has continued to capture readers’ attention ever since, with five novels, two collections of (ficto)-criticism, five edited anthologies, numerous short stories, essays, and reviews, and, most recently, a “maverick” history of Alberta, the province in Canada where she lives.

Aritha van Herk was born on 26 May 1954 in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, to Dutch immigrants, Meretje (van Dam) and William Herk. She grew up with her four siblings on the family farm near Edberg, Alberta, w…

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Verduyn, Christl. "Aritha van Herk". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 April 2008
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]