About the Author

Myrna Kostash

Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, award-winning nonfiction writer Myrna Kostash is the author of ten books, including All of Baba's Children and The Doomed Bridegroom: A Memoir. In addition to contributing articles to magazines such as Geist, Canadian Geographic, and Literary Review of Canada, Kostash has written radio documentaries and theatre playscripts. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in numerous Canadian and international anthologies, such as The Thinking Heart: Best Canadian Essays, Slice Me Some Truth: An Anthology of Canadian Creative Nonfiction, Desire: Women Write About Wanting, Literatura na S´wiecie (Warsaw), and Mostovi (Belgrade).

A founder of the Creative Nonfiction Collective, Kostash has also served as president of the Writers' Guild of Alberta and as chair of the Writers' Union of Canada. In 2008 the Writers Guild of Alberta presented her with the Golden Pen Award for lifetime achievement, and in 2009 she was inducted into the City of Edmonton's Arts and Culture Hall of Fame. In 2010 she received the Writers Trust of Canada Matt Cohen Award for A Writing Life. Her latest book, Prodigal Daughter: A Journey into Byzantium, was released in 2010 by the University of Alberta Press. She is at work on a public family history about her grandparents.

Books by this Author

Bloodlines

A Journey into Eastern Europe
edition:Paperback
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Long Way from Home

Long Way from Home

The Story of the Sixties Generation in Canada
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
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Long Way From Home

Long Way From Home

The Story of the Sixties Generation in Canada
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
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Prodigal Daughter

Prodigal Daughter

A Journey to Byzantium
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : orthodox, literary
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Reading the River

Reading the River

A Traveller's Companion to the North Saskatchewan
edition:Paperback
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Seven Oaks Reader, The
Excerpt

One: In the Beginning

MK:In Spring of 1816, rumours swirl through Assiniboia - in today's southern Manitoba - that the Nor'Westers, men of the North West Company of fur traders, Métis hunters, Canadian engagés [contractemployees], and clerks, are preparing for war against their commercial rivals, the Hudson's Bay Company. They face each other from their respective posts, Fort Gibraltar and Fort Douglas, near the juncture of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers known as the Forks. There are settlers a kilometre north in a loop of the Red, named Point Douglas.1.

June 19, 1816: a group of Métis and Nor'Westers disembark from a canoe at the mouth of Catfish Creek, where it empties, swift and muddy, into the Assiniboine. They have with them large bundles of pemmican that they transfer to oxcarts for transport overland north-east across the plain. At this point, the horsemen are still well away from the Selkirk settlers on the Red, and from Fort Douglas, downstream on the Red. In fact, they are deliberately avoiding fort and settlers. Or so they will claim.

But that evening of June 19, a watchman in Fort Douglas spots a group of the horsemen, some thirty-five of them, armed and riding in the direction of La Grenouillière or Frog Plain. They seem to be riding toward the settlement itself. The alarm is raised, Governor Robert Semple calls for volunteers, hands them muskets and ammunition, and marches out with them, some twenty-five-strong, to intercept and confront the horsemen. They meet at a bend in the river, in a grove of trees known as Seven Oaks.

What happened next has been called a battle, a skirmish, a massacre. It was over in fifteen minutes but it was long in the making, starting as early as the charter of the Hudson's Bay Company.

1. Point Douglas AKA 1813, Colony Gardens; 1817, 1826, Red River; 1858, Fort Garry - or Garry for short; 1873, Winnipeg.

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The Frog Lake Reader

The Frog Lake Reader

edition:eBook
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The Seven Oaks Reader

The Seven Oaks Reader

edition:eBook
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