Borealis Press logo
Borealis Press Home | Index by Author | Index by Title | Search | View Cart

Colonial Era

Confederation Era

Modern Era



Young Adult


General Works



Criticism and Biography/Autobiography

Canadian Critical Editions

Journal of Canadian Poetry


Heritage Books of Canada

How Parliament Works

Canadian Parliamentary Handbook


Short Stories


Canadian Writers


Early Canadian Woman Writers

Canadian Native Subjects



Abuse of Power

Aussie Six

Canadian Critical Edition

Early Canadian Women Writers Series

Greenhouse Kids

Hockey Family

Journal of Canadian Poetry

Mighty Orion

New Canadian Drama

Other Side

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry

Quickbeam Chronicles


Silly Sally

Tales of the Shining Mountains

The Stry-Ker Family Saga


The Young May Moon

Edited by
Faye Hammill

Cover of The Young May Moon
Click image for larger view of cover.

289 pages,
ISBN: 9781774660034
$24.00 CA

This book is in stock and ships within 48 hours of receipt of order.

About the Book "Martha Ostenso" was the name that appeared on a series of widely read novels and stories published between the 1920s and 1940s. But "Martha Ostenso" was in fact two people. The fiction was collaboratively written by Martha herself and the Canadian author Douglas Durkin, who also published books under his own name. They made a major contribution to the development of "prairie realism," yet despite their significance to both Canadian and American literary history, only one of their jointly produced novels, the celebrated Wild Geese (1925), has remained in print. The Young May Moon, first published in 1929, is set in a small railroad town inhabited by German, Ukrainian, and Scandinavian settlers. The story explores religion, madness, and obsession with the past, but also romance, motherhood, and the healing power of landscape and of music. It tells the story of Marcia Vorse, who survives the disaster of her early married life and brings up her child alone. Marcia works hard to transform an abandoned homestead into a successful farm, defying the harsh judgements of her neighbours and eventually regaining her place in the community. This new edition of The Young May Moon is the first scholarly edition of any Ostenso text. It includes a critical Introduction exploring the novel's themes as well as its material history, Explanatory Notes, reviews of the first edition, and bibliographies of primary and secondary works. Born in Norway, Martha Ostenso (1900-1963) emigrated to North America aged two, and was brought up in Minnesota, South Dakota and Manitoba. She briefly worked as a teacher, and then studied writing at the University of Manitoba with Douglas Durkin (1884-1967), moving with him to Columbia University to continue her study. Durkin became her life partner and co-author. The defining moment of Ostenso's career was the award of a major prize to the novel Wild Geese (1925), which became a successful film and is considered a Canadian classic. In the 1940s, Ostenso worked with another co-author, Sister Elizabeth Kenny, on a biography of Kenny that was also turned into a film.

back cover of Young May Moon, The
Click image for larger view of backcover.

About the Author Faye Hammill
Dr. Faye Hammill is Professor in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. Her research encompasses Canadian, American, and British literature in the early to mid-twentieth century. She is the author or co-author of six books, most recently Magazines, Travel, and Middlebrow Culture (2015, with Michelle Smith) and Modernism's Print Cultures (2016, with Mark Hussey). She is founder of an international research group, the Middlebrow Network.

top home