Jan Hudson's picture

Jan Hudson

(1954 - 1990)

aka Ellen Kelly, Jan Oliver

Jan Hudson, a Canadian author of historical fiction, wrote only two novels during her short life. She died at the age of thirty-six in 1990 of respiratory failure due to viral pneumonia. However, she left a lasting message for young girls about overcoming adversity to find their true place in the world.

 Hudson's two novels, Sweetgrass and Dawn Rider, exemplify her interest in "social anthropology--the little things that make up most people's lives," as she stated in a 1989 Publishers Weekly interview with Bella Stander. She conveyed these details by using the history of the Blackfoot Nation as her background. "Both [novels] are evocative historical works, rich in nuance and resonance, about young women coming of age in the Blackfoot Nation," commented Sandra Martin in Quill and Quire. "Underlying this theme is a subtle yet haunting message about the devastating consequences that have resulted from native contact with Europeans." Perhaps the greatest compliment to Hudson's work was written by Sarah Ellis in the Horn Book: "We also experience the more complex satisfaction of having genuinely entered another time and the lives of another people." Hudson's hope, more specifically, was to write about the lives of Canadian Indian women of the past who, in her opinion, had been ignored.

Genres: Romance, Inspirational
Series contributed to
Rita Awards Best Novel winner (1991) : Step into My Parlor