A Popular Female Manitoba Novelist

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(rare 1937 signed letter from Ostenso)


(Ostenso’s first award-winning book with blurb on back cover; McClelland & Stewart, 1925; it was adapted as a movie, making it–along with de la Roche’s Jalna and Hemon’s Maria Chapdelaine)–one of the first Canadian novels to be turned into a film)


(two photos from the Tiffany-Stahl movie photoplay edition of the book)


(rare, clean Grosset & Dunlap 1st ed. dj, 1929)


(1943 1st ed. Dodd, Mead dj; indecipherable initials of illustrator)


(from the same book, rare signed endpaper of this title)


(rare dj. Grossett & Dunlap, 1931-32; indecipherable signature of illustrator)


(1943 Dodd, Mead, 1st ed.–Ostenso’s djs were all romantic in tone, much like de la Roche’s)

Martha Ostenso (1900-1963) was born in Norway and came with her family to live in Winnipeg. She met Douglas Durkin, a married professor at the University of Manitoba, with whom she eloped to New York. Ostenso studied at Columbia and was a social worker there before they moved to Minnesota and eventually married. Wild Geese (1925), a prize-winner is generally considered to be her best novel. It was made into a film three times including a Canadian production After the Harvest starring Sam Shepard. Her work and life declined after she and her husband moved to Hollywood, and she later died of cirrhosis.

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