Born in Belleville, Ontario, Marianne was educated at Carleton University, the Sorbonne and University of Toronto (MA 1981). She lived in Paris in the late 1970s and moved to Montreal in 1981. From 1998 to 2004, she lived in La Roque Alric, France. She is married to Gwyn Campbell, research professor of history at McGill University. Her daughter Fiona Ackerman is a painter in Vancouver. She has one grandchild, Oskar.
Marianne has published eight books, including plays, novels and short fiction. Her play Triplex Nervosa premiered at Montreal’s Centaur Theatre in April of 2015. A comedy about art and real estate in Mile End, directed by Roy Surette, it was a critical and box office success. Venus of Dublin premiered at the Centaur in 2000 and received four subsequent productions in Ontario.
As co-founder and artistic director of THEATRE 1774, she wrote and directed several plays, notably the bilingual L’Affaire Tartuffe, or the Garrison Officers Rehearse Moliére, described by La Presse as “a magnificent play, a real tour de force.” Other works for 1774 included Sliding in All Directions and Woman by a Window. She also wrote and directed Céleste and Blue Valentine.
After leaving the company in 1997, she wrote three novels, the best-selling Jump, published in 2000, followed by Matters of Hart (2005) and Piers’ Desire (2010). Her short fiction has been published by Guernica Editions: Holy Fools + 2 Stories (2014), Mankind and Other Stories of Women (2016).
As a journalist, Marianne worked for the Whig-Standard’s Picton bureau during high school at NCC. She was a feature writer and theatre critic at the Montreal Gazette, winning the Nathan Cohen Award twice in the 1980s. She has free-lanced for The Gazette, Globe and Mail, Guardian, Walrus and Maisonneuve magazines.