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Memorable Manitobans: Laura Goodman Salverson (1890-1970)


Born at Winnipeg on 9 December 1890, daughter of Icelandic immigrants Larus Thorgeir Gudmundson and Ingibjorg Gudmundsdottir, she grew up in a family which spoke only Icelandic. She spent her early working years as an itinerate nurse, dance hostess, factory worker, and maid, before marrying in 1913 and settling in Winnipeg. On 16 July 1913, she married George Salverson at Winnipeg. A few years later she joined her husband on a homestead north of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, later moving to Regina. She turned to writing with the encouragement of Austin Bothwell, and published The Viking Heart in 1923. She subsequently produced eight more novels, including Dark Weaver (which won the Governor-General’s Award for fiction in 1937) and Immortal Rock (which won the Ryerson Press Fiction Award for 1954). She served for many years as President of the Winnipeg branch of the Canadian Authors’ Association. She also published poetry and a highly-acclaimed autobiography, The Confessions of an Immigrant’s Daughter (which won the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction in 1940). She died at Toronto, Ontario on 13 July 1970.


Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Laura Goodman Salverson,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 July 1970, page 21.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 June 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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