Elaine Hayes is a writer with fiction and non-fiction published in numerous magazines and anthologies. Her most recent work can be found in Carte Blanche Magazine (Issue 43; June 2022) and The (M)othering Anthology (Inanna; May 2022). Her debut novel White Margarine, which is inspired by her experiences as the biological child of foster parents, is forthcoming. (Please check back for publication updates.)
Elaine is a member the Writers' Union of Canada and the Writers' Guild of Alberta, and is currently completing her second novel, All Those Sample Pieces.
Early reviews and comments on White Margarine: a novel
From Aritha van Herk, writer:
What is it like to be a biological child in a fostering family? How does living with children waiting for adoption or on the verge of never being adopted affect households?
In White Margarine, Elaine Hayes vividly transports readers to a transitional home where children are shuffled like playing cards and time is measured between arrivals and departures.
The middle child in the middle of this wavering world, Janice Porter is a character both compellingly curious and wonderfully acerbic. Her role within her family’s complex chess game bounces between accommodation and puzzlement. She is so beautifully drawn that in her own creatively tyrannical way, she makes the reader want to adopt her.
This novel brilliantly evokes an era when Encyclopedia and Fuller Brush salesmen went door to door, when bobby pins were essential hair accessories, and when butter-coloured margarine was an accepted deception. White Margarine’s illumination of threadbare suburban hope is entirely authentic. Poignant and wry, this story is utterly memorable.
Aritha van Herk is an award-winning novelist whose essays and cultural commentaries have garnered international acclaim. She is a Professor in the English Department at the University of Calgary, where she teaches English Literature and Creative Writing.
From Nino Ricci, author of Sleep:
White Margarine gives us a child’s eye view of the heart-wrenching upheavals and confusions of living amongst an ever-changing roster of foster siblings. Elaine Hayes has shed a light on a little explored area of family dynamics and has given us in her protagonist Janice a character who will stay with us long after we have finished reading.
Nino Ricci is an bestselling author whose novels have won numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Fiction twice (Lives of the Saints; The Origin of Species), the Trillium Award for Literature (Testament), and, most recently, the Canadian Authors Award for Fiction (Sleep).