A Canadian novelist and short story writer, she is best known for works such as The Stone Ager, a Jest of God, and The Diviners. She was a founder of the Writers' Trust of Canada.
Early in her literary career, she worked as a reporter for The Winnipeg Citizen.
She was a two-time recipient of the prestigious Governor General's Award.
She married Jack Fergus Laurence in 1947.
She and Graham Yost were both Canadian writers.