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The Force of Vocation:
The Literary Career of Adele Wiseman

By: Ruth Panofsky

Adele Wiseman was a seminal figure in Canadian letters. Always independent and wilful, she charted her own literary career, based on her unfailing belief in her artistic vision. This first book on Wiseman’s writing life presents her as an author who doggedly and ambitiously perfected her craft, sought a wide audience for her work, and refused to compromise her work for marketability.


Drawing on previously unpublished archival material and personal interviews with publishers, editors, and writers, The Force of Vocation charts Wiseman’s career from her internationally acclaimed first novel, The Sacrifice, through her near career-ending decisions to move into drama and non-fiction, to her many years as a dedicated mentor to other writers. In the process, it presents a remarkable and compelling story of the intricate negotiations and complex relationships that exist among authors, editors, and publishers.




University of Manitoba Press


Professional Writer's Grant, Canada Council for the Arts 


A major contribution to our understanding of how to think about writers’ experiences in Canada.

Neil Besner, University of Winnipeg


This collection of essays details the complexity and diversity of author Adele Wiseman. Writing in several different genres, from children’s books to plays and essays, Wiseman became one of the most renowned Canadian...


Over a period of forty years, from 1947 to 1986, Margaret Laurence and Adele Wiseman wrote to each other constantly. The topics they wrote about were as wide-ranging as their interests and experiences, and their...


Best known as the author of The Sacrifice and Crackpot, Adele Wiseman has also written children’s stories, plays, and memoirs. There has been a significant quantity of criticism about Wiseman’s writing, from book reviews...

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