Martha Ostenso: Wild Geese

(1005 words)
  • Andrew Lesk (University of Toronto)

Written in a mere six weeks, Martha Ostenso's Wild Geese won a contest sponsored by Dodd, Mead, and Company for the best North American novel in 1925. The prize of $13,500 awarded to the author, who beat 1,389 other entries, resulted in fame although not necessarily in future literary success. It is now generally understood that Ostenso co-wrote the novel with Douglas Durkin, her married English professor at the University of Manitoba who later became her lover and, eventually, her husband. Then as now, the book garnered deserved critical attention, especially for what is perceived to be its new Canadian realist literary attitude. It seems likely, though, that had the book not been reissued by McClelland and Stewart's New …

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Lesk, Andrew. "Wild Geese". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 April 2005; last revised 18 April 2006.
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]