CBC Digital Archives CBC butterfly logo

CBC Archives has a new look: Please go to cbc.ca/archives to access the new site.

The page you are looking at will not be updated.

Ann-Marie MacDonald: actress, playwright, novelist

The Story

When Ann-Marie MacDonald was five, she wanted to be a stand-up comic. A few years later, she wanted to be actress. Then she wanted to be a writer. "I realized as I grew up and I started doing all those things -- except the stand-up part -- that it's all part and parcel of the same thing. It's all an impulse toward telling stories," says MacDonald. Fresh on the heels of her wildly successful debut novel Fall on your Knees, the actress/playwright/novelist chats with Pamela Wallin in this 1997 CBC-TV interview.

Medium: Television
Program: Pamela Wallin
Broadcast Date: May 9, 1997
Guest(s): Ann-Marie MacDonald
Host: Pamela Wallin
Duration: 29:09

Did You know?

• Ann-Marie MacDonald was born on Oct. 29, 1958, in West Germany. Her father was stationed there as a member of the Canadian military. Although they moved frequently due to her father's military career, her family's roots were in Cape Breton, N.S.

• MacDonald's first career was as an actress. One of her most notable acting achievements was her role in the Canadian film I've Heard the Mermaids Singing, for which she received a Genie nomination in 1987.

• As a playwright, she first found success with her 1988 play Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet). For this play, MacDonald received the Governor General's Award, the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award and the Canadian Authors' Association Award for Drama.

Fall on Your Knees was extremely well-received from the moment it was published, with a June 1996 Globe and Mail review stating, "There is no resisting this story." But the book's sales really skyrocketed internationally in 2002, after Oprah Winfrey included it as part of her influential book club.

• MacDonald's second novel, The Way the Crow Flies, was released in 2003. It was nominated for the Giller Prize that same year, but lost to M.G. Vassanji's The In-Between World of Vikram Lall.



Other Books and Authors more