On September 26, 2016 Madeleine Thien wrote a letter to Santa J. Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor of UBC, Gage Averill UBC Dean of Arts, and Annabel Lyon and Linda Svendsen Acting Co-chairs of UBC’s Creative Writing Program, in which she states that in regard to the firing of Steven Galloway she believes they have “failed everyone involved.”
Thien’s letter also informs them of her own status as a survivor of sexual assault. She outlines her emotional connection to the topic and her desire to see issues of abuse being dealt with in a manner that is just and fair for all involved.
Thien closes with a request that her name no longer be used publicly in association with UBC and UBC’s Creative Writing program until UBC takes responsibility for the damage done. This is a clearly painful but important gesture by Thien who has until recently claimed UBC Creative Writing as her artistic home. Thien was recently nominated for The Booker Prize and won both The Governor General’s Award and The Scotiabank Giller Prize.
See also Hart Hanson’s decision to pull a promised donation from UBC because of the mishandling of the Galloway Case.