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Adele Wiseman (1928–1992)

Author of The Sacrifice

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Adele Wiseman was born in Winnipeg, Canada, to Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. Her parents were part of the secular, Yiddish-speaking community in the North End of the city. In 1949, she earned a B.A. in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Manitoba. She spent the years from 1950 to 1952 living abroad and writing her first novel, The Sacrifice (1956). To support herself, she took various jobs such as a social worker in London and a teacher and summer camp supervisor in Rome. The Sacrifice, published on her return to Canada, was one of the first novels in English to deal with the Holocaust and won her wide acclaim and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, Canada's top literary prize. In 1969, she married Dmitry Stone, a biologist, with whom she had a daughter. Her second novel, Crackpot, appeared in 1974. Other works included Old Woman at Play (1978), a memoir that was adapted for the stage, and Memoirs of a Book Molesting Childhood and Other Essays (1987). She also wrote plays, poems, and stories for children. After her death, a collection of her letters with her friend Margaret Laurence was published as Selected Letters of Margaret Laurence and Adele Wiseman (1997), along with a memorial volume called We Who Can Fly (1997), edited by Elizabeth Greene. She taught or served as writer in residence at the University of Manitoba, Macdonald College of McGill University, Sir George Williams (now Concordia) and Trent universities, the universities of Western Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Windsor. From 1987 to 1991 she headed the Writing Programme at the Banff Centre. Her work received many honors and awards, including the Canadian Booksellers Association Book Award (1974); the J. I. Segal Foundation Award (1974 and 1988); and the Three Guineas Charitable Foundation Agency Award (1984–1985).
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