Queen's Quarterly

Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

Emma Donoghue


Winter 2019 - Donoghue

What Remains

Emma Donoghue’s “What Remains” is a poignant and revelatory imagining of the last days in the lives of two of Canada’s most important sculptors. Florence Wylie and Frances Loring were artists who worked in clay, bronze, stone, and marble. They came from the USA but lived and worked together in and near Toronto throughout most of their lives. Like very many women artists, they fought against the prejudice and condescension of men. The work they made is beautiful and enduring. The Queen Elizabeth Monument, created at the start of the Second World War, features Frances Loring’s limestone lion – one of the most perfect works of public art in Canada. The same might be said for Donoghue’s story about how Florence, who still had her wits at age 85, tried to give her beloved friend some measure of peace by taking her to see the lion she had made …

This piece first appeared in Queen’s Quarterly 108/1 (Spring 2001).


Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is a novelist, playwright and Oscar-nominated screenwriter, living in London, Ontario, since 1998. Her books include Room, Akin, The Wonder, Frog Music, The Sealed Letter, Life Mask, Slammerkin, and the Lotterys series for young readers.