Gwethalyn Graham was a Canadian writer, whose 1944 novel Earth and High Heaven was the first Canadian book to reach number one on the New York Times Best Seller list. Graham won the Governor General's Award twice, for her first novel Swiss Sonata in 1938, and for Earth and High Heaven in 1944.
She was born Gwethalyn Graham Erichsen-Brown, to wealthy Toronto parents. Her father was a lawyer. At 19, she was a student at Smith College in Massachusetts, but dropped out and eloped with John McNaught, the son of her father's business partner. They later divorced, and Graham moved to the city of Westmount, on the Island of Montreal where she became a close friend and associate of Hugh MacLennan, F. R. Scott, ThÃ©rÃ¨se Casgrain and Pierre Trudeau. Graham subsequently married David Yalden-Thomson, a philosophy professor at McGill University; they subsequently also divorced.
Graham was also an outspoken activist against anti-Semitism and anti-French Canadian discrimination; Earth and High Heaven depicted an interfaith romance between a Protestant woman from Montreal and a Jewish man from Northern Ontario. The novel was optioned by Samuel Goldwyn for a film that was to star Katharine Hepburn; however, the film was never made.