Rudy Wiebe's novels about the experience of people on the prairies, especially of such minority and/or politically disadvantaged groups as natives, Metis, and Mennonites, have brought the geography, climate, history, and society of this region to the attention and appreciation of readers throughout the world. And scholars from throughout the world (and particularly from Europe), as well as from across Canada, have already travelled to Calgary to work on the extensive holdings of his manuscripts, correspondence, and other personal and professional papers. The Rudy Wiebe Papers, First Accession, describes these holdings in valuable detail indispensable to the growing body of scholars, readers, writers, and others fascinated with the work of one of Canada's most important authors. This description is prefaced with a useful biocritical essay by Jon Kertzer, surveying Wiebe's life and work and offering an original and cogent commentary on both.
Rudy Wiebe was born in 1934 near Fairholme, Saskatchewan. Rudy has a B.A. in English and M.A. in Creative Writing, both from the University of Alberta. He studied under a Rotary International Fellowship at the University of Tubingen in West Germany, and in 1962 he received a Bachelor of Theology degree from the Mennonite Brethren Bible College. In 1962-1963 he was editor of the Mennonite Brethren Herald, a position that he resigned because of the controversy over his first novel, Peace Shall Destroy Many. From 1967 to 1992 he was Professor of Creative Writing and English at the University of Alberta. Wiebe has published twenty-five books, including nine novels and the non-fiction best-seller Stolen Life: The Journey of a Cree Woman, co-authored with Yvonne Johnson. He was awarded the Governor General's Award for fiction for The Temptations of Big Bear in 1973, and again in 1994 for A Discovery of Strangers. He is also the winner of the Lorne Pierce Gold Metal of the Royal Society of Canada for his contribution to Canadian literature (1987). Wiebe has served as chairman of both the Writers Guild of Alberta and the Writers Union of Canada. His book of essays, Playing Dead, was the first book in NeWest's Landmark Editions series. Wiebe lives in Edmonton, Alberta.