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Wpg Free Press: Long-lost book about 1919 strike finds new life

April 30, 2019 — 

As the Winnipeg Free Press reports on alumna Melinda McCracken [BA/61]:

For years, Molly McCracken knew about the book manuscripts her late mother had left, though she’d never had time to read them. They were tucked away safely in the University of Manitoba’s archives where Melinda McCracken had placed them, along with some of her diaries, short stories, and letters from notable people.

The manuscripts might have stayed there, mostly forgotten. But in 2017, the labour community in Winnipeg began talking about plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1919 general strike; as Manitoba director for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Molly often found herself at the heart of those discussions.

Her thoughts turned to one of the unpublished books her mother, a prolific writer, had left behind. Papergirl, it was called, and she knew it was centred around the strike. So she went to the U of M to look at the manuscript, and as she started to read, echoes of Melinda’s unmistakeable voice came rushing back into her mind.

“She just springs right off the page,” Molly says, chatting at a Portage Avenue cafe earlier this month.

Now, nearly four decades since Melinda started writing Papergirl, and 17 years since she died, the book is at last coming into the public light. In collaboration with Halifax writer Penelope Jackson, and published by local imprint Roseway Publishing, the book will hit store shelves next month in time for the anniversary of the strike.

Read the full Free Press story here.


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