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|Born||14 February 1933|
Fulham, London, England
|Died||1 July 1994 (aged 61)|
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
|Occupation||Theatre reviewer and playwright|
|Period||1971 - 1991|
Michael Cook (14 February 1933 – 1 July 1994) was a Canadian playwright known for his plays set in Newfoundland.
Cook was born in Fulham, London, England. He attended boarding schools until age fifteen. He served a number of years in the British Army, mostly in Asia, and attended the University of Nottingham, earning teaching qualifications. He then settled in Newfoundland in 1965.
Soon after arriving in Newfoundland, Cook wrote scripts for several radio dramas which were produced in St. John's; Cook taught theatre arts at Memorial University of Newfoundland; he reviewed plays and wrote articles about the importance of theatre in the St. John's Evening Telegram and in the Canadian Theatrical Review.
Cook wrote a number of plays set in Newfoundland, beginning with was Tiln, written in 1971. His best-known works were Jacob's Wake and The Head, Guts and Soundbone Dance, in which Newfoundland provides a sometimes realistic and sometimes symbolic backdrop for his poetic rendering of lives in continual conflict with natural elements.
Cook married three times, and fathered twelve children, including actor Sebastian Spence by his wife, Janis. Cook retained a residence in Stratford, Ontario. While passing through St Johns on a trip to his summer home on Random Island, Cook became ill and died.
- Tiln, 1971.
- Colour The Flesh the Colour of Dust, 1972.
- The Head, Guts and Sound Bone Dance, 1973.
- Jacob's Wake, 1974.
- Quiller, 1975.
- Therese's Creed, 1976.
- The Fisherman's Revenge, 1976. (children's play)
- On The Rim of the Curve, 1977.
- The Gayden Chronicles, 1980.
- Craig Walker, "Michael Cook: Elegy, Allegory and Eschatology," The Buried Astrolabe: Canadian Dramatic Imagination and Western Tradition. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2001.
- Lisa De Leon. Writers of Newfoundland and Labrador: Twentieth Century. Jesperson Press; 1 January 1985. ISBN 978-0-920502-58-7. p. 267.
- Michael Cook entry at The Canadian Encyclopedia
- John Robert Colombo. Canadian Literary Landmarks. Dundurn; 1 January 1984. ISBN 978-1-4597-1798-5. p. 22–.
- Literary History of Canada: Canadian Literature in English, Volume IV (Second Edition). University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division; 15 December 1990. ISBN 978-1-4875-9116-8. p. 199–.
- María Jesús Hernáez Lerena. Pathways of Creativity in Contemporary Newfoundland and Labrador. Cambridge Scholars Publishing; 18 September 2015. ISBN 978-1-4438-8333-7. p. 193–.
- "Michael Cook - Biocritical Essay", by Malcolm Page, University of Calgary. 1994
- Craig Stewart Walker. The Buried Astrolabe: Canadian Dramatic Imagination and Western Tradition. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP; 2001. ISBN 978-0-7735-2075-2. p. 83–.
- Post-Colonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics. Routledge; 11 September 2002. ISBN 978-1-134-87700-3. p. 179–.
- Contemporary Canadian theatre, new world visions: a collection of essays. Simon & Pierre; 1985. ISBN 978-0-88924-152-7. p. 77.
- "Director, actor Janis Spence dead at 61". CBC News, Feb 07, 2008
- "Michael Cook". Heritage Newfoundland, www.heritage.nf.ca
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