I’m pleased to announce the publication of the first volume in the Early Canadian Literature series by Wilfrid Laurier University Press: an edition of Ralph Connor’s 1909 novel The Foreigner, with an afterword by Daniel Coleman. Several more volumes will follow later this year.
First published in 1909, The Foreigner comes from the pen of bestselling author Ralph Connor, the pseudonym of Presbyterian minister and missionary Charles W. Gordon. The novel opens in Winnipeg, where Kalman Kalmar, a young Eastern European immigrant, is growing up under the shadow of his father, whose allegiance to the customs of the Old World has caused him to become a fugitive in Canada. After a violent encounter with his father’s sworn enemy, the adolescent Kalman is sent to a ranch in rural Saskatchewan, where, in learning the ways of the land, he must also reconcile the customs of his ancestors with the possibilities available to him in the New World. Part adventure story, part allegory for a vision of a culturally assimilated North West, the story features a form of male maturation and muscular Christianity recurring in Connor’s popular Western tales. Daniel Coleman’s afterword considers the text’s departure from Connor’s established fiction formulas and provides a framework for understanding its depiction of difference.
I am very pleased to announce the creation of the Early Canadian Literature series, to be published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press:
The Early Canadian Literature Series returns to print rare texts deserving restoration to the canon of Canadian texts in English. Including novels, periodical pieces, memoirs, and creative non-fiction, the series showcases texts by Indigenous peoples and immigrants from a range of ancestral, language, and religious origins. Each volume includes an afterword by a prominent scholar providing new interpretations for all readers.
I’m series editor, and the series is supported by an advisory board consisting of Andrea Cabajsky (Université de Moncton), Carole Gerson (Simon Fraser University), and Cynthia Sugars (University of Ottawa).
The first title in the series, Ralph Connor’s novel The Foreigner: A Tale of Saskatchewan (1909), with an afterword by Daniel Coleman (McMaster University), is scheduled for publication in December 2013. It will be followed by two more titles in early 2014: George Copway’s The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation (1850), with an afterword by Shelley Hulan (University of Waterloo), and Nellie L. McClung’s Painted Fires (1925), with an afterword by Cecily Devereux (University of Alberta).
Several more titles are in preparation, and we warmly welcome suggestions for future titles.