A Bird in the House

by Margaret Laurence | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0771099851 Global Overview for this book
Registered by winggypsysmomwing of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 12/30/2007
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by winggypsysmomwing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, December 30, 2007
I bought this book at the Children's Hospital paperback book sale. Inside it has a stamp saying it was purchased at the Margaret Laurence House in Neepawa, MB.

Journal Entry 2 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Monday, April 16, 2012
This is a small book of short stories. But, like The Stone Angel and A Jest of God, they all take place in the fictional town of Manawaka which is a thinly disguised Neepawa, MB where Laurence grew up. According to a Winnipeg Free Press article published at the time of her death in 1987 some people in Neepawa resented the way Laurence portrayed the town. This article says that only a few dozen people attended the memorial service in Neepawa "in sharp contrast to a standing-room-only tribute Friday in Toronto." I am indebted to the person who included a copy of this article in this book. I only found it as I finished the first story so it was a complete surprise to me.

Vanessa McLeod is the central character of the stories. Isabel Huggan, in the afterward to the book, confirms what I suspected i.e. that these stories are autobiographical. Thus, I know quite a bit more about Peggy Wemyss than I did before. Vanessa and Peggy both lost their fathers at a young age. They both tried writing stories from a young age, honing their craft. They both could hardly wait to get out of their small town. Obviously, though, while Peggy while waiting to escape she was also observing all the people, tucking away things that emerged almost 25 years later when this book was written.

It's hard to pick a favourite story because they were all great. I think that the one that affected me the most was probably "The Half-Husky". It's the story of a dog that Vanessa was given by the man who brought birch firewood for the family. Vanessa called him Nanuk in honour of his Husky lineage. Unfortunately Nanuk became the brunt of cruelty perpetrated by the newspaper boy. He became aggressive with anyone outside of the family and had to be euthanized. All these years later I can still feel the outrage Vanessa/Peggy felt.

I'm going to reserve this book for the 2012 Canada Day release challenge.

Journal Entry 3 by winggypsysmomwing at Margaret Laurence House in Neepawa, Manitoba Canada on Monday, July 02, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (6/29/2012 UTC) at Margaret Laurence House in Neepawa, Manitoba Canada


I took this book back to where it was initially purchased. I left it at the foot of the plaque in front of the house.

This release is for the 2012 Canada Days release challenge (which had the literature of Margaret Laurence as the theme) and for the 2012 52 Towns in 52 Weeks release challenge.

Journal Entry 4 by wingAnonymousFinderwing at Neepawa, Manitoba Canada on Wednesday, July 25, 2012
I found this book at the Margaret Laurence House in Neepawa (on the plaque in front of the house, just where you left it) on July 2nd. A friend and I visited the house and had a tour on our way up to Clear Lake for a short holiday. I got around to reading it over the last few days and to my surprise, I loved it! I particularly liked how the author wrote about the character of Grandfather Connor through Vanessa's observations. It was also great to imagine the town of Neepawa as the inspiration for the fictional town of Manawaka.

I too was interested to read the newspaper article (still tucked between the pages of the book) about the small turnout to a Neepawa memorial service for Margaret shortly after her death.

I am looking forward to reading more of Margaret Laurence's books. With this book, my plan is either to leave it in Gimli, as I am headed there for the film festival this weekend, or pass it on to a friend.

Journal Entry 5 by wingAnonymousFinderwing at Steinbach, Manitoba Canada on Friday, August 10, 2012
Just finished A Bird in the House and enjoyed it very much.A friend and I picked up the book at Margaret Lawrence house and exchanged it between the two of us.I will leave it for someone else to enjoy.

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