“With a mind – and a pen – as sharp as a paper cut, the elegant, affable Rowe remains Newfoundland’s literary agent provocateur, provoking, teasing, sometimes coddling his subjects, but all the time digging towards truths that cause discomfort for the province’s Who’s Who and everyman alike.”
Born in Newfoundland, Bill Rowe graduated in English from Memorial University and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, obtaining an Honours M.A. in law.
Elected five times to the House of Assembly, Rowe served as a minister in the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and as leader of the Official Opposition. He practised law in St. John’s for many years and has been a long-time public affairs commentator, appearing regularly on national and local television, as well as hosting a daily radio call-in show on VOCM and writing weekly newspaper columns.
Rowe has written eleven books: Clapp’s Rock, a bestselling novel published by McClelland & Stewart and serialized on CBC national radio; The Temptation of Victor Galanti, a second novel published by McClelland & Stewart; the critically acclaimed political memoir Danny Williams: The War With Ottawa, which appeared on the Globe and Mail’s bestsellers list; Rosie O’Dell, a critically acclaimed crime novel; The Premiers Joey and Frank, a Globe and Mail bestseller and selected by the Hill Times as one of the best books in politics, public policy, and history in 2013; The Monster of Twenty Mile Pond, the much-loved novel of a legendary monster who engulfed the lives of two teenaged girls; The True Confessions of a Badly Misunderstood Dog, a fictionalized account of the frantic years when a Labrador retriever and two cats lived with the author’s family; No Punches Pulled: The Premiers Peckford, Wells, and Tobin, a political memoir which also appeared on the best books list of the Hill Times in Ottawa; and now The Worst and the Best of the Premiers and Some We Never Had.
Rowe is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada and has served on the executive of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador. He is married to Penelope Ayre Rowe CM of St. John’s. They have a son, Dorian, a daughter, Toby, and three grandchildren, Rowan, Elizabeth, and Phoebe.