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Memorable Manitobans: Adele Wiseman (1928-1992)


Born in Winnipeg to parents who were Jewish immigrants from Ukraine, she was educated at St. John’s High School and the University of Manitoba, receiving from the latter a BA in 1949. While employed as a social worker, she began writing. Her first novel was The Sacrifice, published in 1956 and the recipient of the Governor General’s Award for fiction. It recounted the travails of a Jewish patriarch in Winnipeg against a setting of immigration and the garment trade. Crackpot (1974) also dealt with Jewish themes and was set in Winnipeg’s North End during the Depression. The protagonist was a prostitute and the style was satirical. Never a prolific writer, Wiseman published much of her work privately or in journals. She was a close friend of Margaret Laurence, and their correspondence, edited by John Lennox and Ruth Panofsky, was published as Selected Letters of Margaret Laurence and Adele Wiseman (1997).


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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 23 October 2011

Memorable Manitobans

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