Introducing Dorothy Ellen Palmer

In her own words:

“When I was in high school, my group of friends developed our own language, Narg. A kind of Pig Latin, it added ?arg? to every word, leaving meaning to context, inflection, and how well we knew each other. ?Arg do narg tharg I warg to garg swimarg todarg.? is, ?I do not think I want to go swimming today.? As unintelligible as it sounds, we understood it perfectly.”

Read Dorothy’s interview at Open Book Ontario

Just the facts:

  • Dorothy grew up in Alderwood, Toronto
  • She spent summers at a cottage on Balsam Lake, very close to Fenelon Falls
  • For twenty-three years, she worked as a high school English/Drama teacher, teaching on a Mennonite Colony, a four room school, in an Adult Learning Centre attached to a prison, and a highly diverse new high school in Pickering, where she created the only high school improv program in Canada
  • She coached for the Canadian Improv Games
  • She was elected to her union executive each year for fifteen years; she created staff and student workshops to fight bullying, racism, sexism, sexual harassment, homophobia, and ableism
  • She wrote a semi-autobiographical novel about a disabled adopted teen; it is set in the summer of 1969, the Moonwalk-Woodstock era
  • Her second novel, Kerfuffle, also features a disabled protagonist, who spends a summer with an improve group trying to make sense of the G20 protests


To learn more about Dorothy Ellen Palmer, visit her website and Twitter

An article  featuring Dorothy Ellen Palmer: When I’m 64: Dorothy Ellen Palmer on Age, Disability, and CanLit by Kerry Clare

From Dorothy Ellen Palmer’s Memoir: RUN, GERALD, RUN

CBC Book Club Interview: Dorothy Ellen Palmer





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