John Mills grew up in London, England and attended the University of Wales. He started reading the classics of English Literature when he was about seventeen and they inspired him to begin his own writing in the hope that he could approach the standard set up by the authors he most admired. His first novel, The Land of Is, began as a parody of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and played with modern literary conventions. His subsequent work in both fiction and non-fiction is similarly experimental in nature. Louis MacKendrick says:
John Mills is a sophisticated satirist of considerable forcefulness, and his novels are also assured parodies of literary conventions. His later interesting and poised autobiographical essays…appeared in “Thank your Mother for the Rabbits”…Both Mills’ fiction and criticism display a tone of articulate mockery that suggests uncompromising standard and complete individuality.
The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature
It has been fifteen years since Mills came to live on Salt Spring Island, though he considers himself as more of an European novelist. He is an author who lives on Salt Spring, not a Salt Spring Author. Even though he does not write about local events, he has always enjoyed living on this lovely island.
- Thank Your Mother for the Rabbits. (1993)
- Skevington’s daughter. (1978)
- Still no word from Nancy. (2015)
- Youth, Father, and curmudgeon: Recipes and Creative Works (2002)
- The October Men (1974)
- Runner in the Dark (1992)
- The Land of Is (1968)