Leslie Hall Pinder was born as Leslie Joyce Hall in 1948 in a small town on the prairies. When she was twelve years old a teacher encouraged her to write. Her first short story was broadcast on CBC radio when she was 19. Eventually she published short stories, essays, novels and works for the stage.
After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Saskatchewan and Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S., she entered a Masters Program in English at the University of British Columbia. However, she skipped classes and eventually left, intent on becoming a full time writer. She found work in the case report section of the Vancouver police department. At that time the police would phone in their criminal investigation reports from their beats all around town, but mainly on skid road. These reports went to the Prosecutors Office for assessment. She became fascinated with the law. She once took a report from a stakeout of a house where there was alleged to be a meeting of radical “women’s-libbers”.
The lure of the law was irresistible. In 1976 she graduated from Law School at the University of British Columbia. She was the first woman litigator at a large Vancouver law firm. Her association with First Nations peoples began in 1978 when she started working for the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs as in-house legal counsel under the direction of Grand Chief George Manual. At that time aboriginal title was the “right which dare not speak its name”. With their First Nations’ clients, the firm of Mandell Pinder & Ostrove started to say its name.
In 1986 Under the House was published in Canada by Talonbooks. It was then picked up by Bloomsbury Publishing in the U.K., Random House in the U.S., and translated into Finnish. Faber and Faber published the softcover edition in 1989. It was reissued as a Random House Vintage. Her second novel, On Double Tracks was published in Canada in 1990 by Lester and Orpen Dennys, and in the U.S. by Random House. It was nominated for a Governor-General’s Award, the highest literary award in Canada.
Buckling under the weight of trying to juggle being a lawyer and being a writer, Pinder started writing full-time in 2005. She has married her fiction with her legal knowledge, producing novels that are centred in her characters’ difficult and corrupting struggle with the truth as defined by the law.
A revised edition of Under the House was reissued by Shelfstealers in February, 2012. Her third novel, Bring Me One of Everything, was published by Grey Swan Press in 2012. Leslie Hall Pinder lives part time in urban Vancouver and a remote island. She spends time in the winter in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.