Claude Jasmin who was born in Montreal in 1930 has been described as “a one-man orchestra.” Jasmin is a ceramicist by training – a graduate of the Ecole des Meubles (Ecole des Arts Appliqués); he has been an art teacher, critic for La Presse, and television set-designer for the C.B.C. He is now director of the literary and art pages of the Journal de Montréal. His television plays are well known and in 1963 his play Le veau d’or (The Golden Calf) won eight prizes at the Dominion Drama Festival. Ethel and the Terrorist, the only one of his five novels to be translated into English, has been well accepted by English readers. It was read in ten instalments on the C.B.C. network program, “Trans-Canada Matinee” shortly after its publication in 1965, and has since been widely adopted in college courses on Canadian literature. Of his dozen-odd plays, only two have been published, but he has to his credit also a collection of short stories, Les cœurs empaillés (Hearts of Straw), 1970, and a book in response to criticisms of his work, Jasmin uᴉɯsɐſ (1970).
As Jean Ethier-Blais has said, “Jasmin comes as close as it is possible in French Canada to being a professional writer.” Gilles Marcotte put it this way: “He is a witness of a deeply felt need that the novel of French Canada be a living art form.”