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Selected Letters of:
Over A Period of Forty Years, From 1947 To 1986, Margaret Laurence And Adele Wiseman wrote constantly to one another. Their topics were as wide-ranging as their interests and experiences, and their correspondence encompassed many of the varied events of their lives. Laurence's letters reveal much about the impact of her years in Africa, motherhood, her anxieties and insecurities, and her liberation as a writer. Wiseman, whose literary success came early in her career, provided a sympathetic ear and constant encouragement to Laurence.
While the personal habits of each writer mean that there are far more letters from Laurence to Wiseman, the editors' selection has been directed by an interest in these women as friends and writers. Their experiences with the publishing world -- from editors and publishers to agents -- offer an engaging perspective on literary apprenticeship, rejection, and success. The letters reveal the extent to which both women played important roles at a time when Canadian writers stimulated and participated in the buoyant cultural nationalism of the 1960s and 1970s.
This is an extremely important book, essential to scholars working on Canadian literature, and also of great interest to the general reading public, as it contains significant unpublished primary material that is otherwise virtually unavailable. The introduction contextualizes the background of each writer, and the annotations clarify the text by identifying people, events, issues, and places. The Laurence-Wiseman letters offer a fascinating glimpse into the lives and friendship of two remarkable women whose personal correspondence was written with verve, compassion, and wit. [via]