A Tale of Saskatchewan
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$24.99 Paper, 236 pp.
First published in 1909, The Foreigner comes from the pen of bestselling author Ralph Connor, the pseudonym of Presbyterian minister and missionary Charles W. Gordon. The novel opens in Winnipeg, where Kalman Kalmar, a young Eastern European immigrant, is growing up under the shadow of his father, whose allegiance to the customs of the Old World has caused him to become a fugitive in Canada. After a violent encounter with his father’s sworn enemy, the adolescent Kalman is sent to a ranch in rural Saskatchewan, where, in learning the ways of the land, he must also reconcile the customs of his ancestors with the possibilities available to him in the New World. Part adventure story, part allegory for a vision of a culturally assimilated North West, the story features a form of male maturation and muscular Christianity recurring in Connor’s popular Western tales. Daniel Coleman’s afterword considers the text’s departure from Connor’s established fiction formulas and provides a framework for understanding its depiction of difference.
Charles W. Gordon (1860—1937) was educated at the University of Toronto and ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1890. Under the pseudonym Ralph Connor, he published over thirty novels that made him an internationally best-selling author, including The Man from Glengarry (1901) and Glengarry School Days (1902).
Daniel Coleman teaches in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. His research covers Canadian literature, cultural production of categories of privilege, literatures of immigration and diaspora, and the politics of reading. His publications include White Civility (2006) and In Bed with the Word (2009) as well as co-edited scholarly volumes.