Canadian novelist of Irish Catholic descent, born and educated in Toronto. After the publication of his first novel, Strange Fugitive (1928), he travelled to Paris, where in 1929 he renewed contact with Hemingway. His experiences there are recorded in That Summer in Paris (1963), with portraits of Scott Fitzgerald and other expatriate Americans. He is best remembered for the triptych of novels Such is My Beloved (1934), in which Father Dowling, an idealistic and innocent young priest, befriends two prostitutes; They Shall Inherit the Earth (1935); and More Joy in Heaven (1937), on the theme of a bank robber turned ‘prodigal son’. These works share a spare and simple prose and narrative style, and a religious concern with the redemption of the ordinary.