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February 08 , 2008

Margaret Laurence

The Making of a Writer


Margaret Laurence: The Making of a Writer is an engaging narrative that contains new and important findings about Laurence’s life and career. This biography reveals the challenges, successes, and failures of the long apprenticeship that preceded the publication of the The Stone Angel, Laurence’s first commercially successful novel.

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Donez Xiques demonstrates the importance of Margaret Laurence’s early work as a journalist in her development as a writer and covers her return to Canada from Africa in the late 1950s. She details the significance of Laurence’s "Vancouver years" as well as the challenges of her year in London prior to settling at Elm Cottage in Buckinghamshire, when Laurence stood on the verge of success.

The Margaret Laurence known to most people is a public figure of the 1960s and 1970s; matriarchal, matronly, and accomplished. The story of her early years in the harsh setting of the Canadian Prairies during the 1930s - years of drought and the Great Depression - and of her African years has never before been chronicled with the thoroughness and vividness that Xiques provides for the reader.

Appended to this powerful new biography is a short story by Margaret Laurence that has never before been published and two other stories that have not been widely available. They indicate the range of her concerns and show a marked departure from her fiction in The Tomorrow-Tamer and Other Stories and A Bird in the House.

Readers will benefit from the extensive research in this full and vibrant portrait of one of the most revered writers of twentieth-century Canadian literature.

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