Adele Wiseman

Adele Wiseman (1928-1992), was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and educated at the University of Manitoba (B.A. 1949). To support her early intention to be a writer, she took a variety of jobs as a reader and tutor in the English department at the University of Manitoba, as a social worker in London (1950), and as a teacher at the Overseas School of Rome (1951). Returning to Winnipeg the following year, Wiseman continued working on her first novel, The Sacrifice, for three years, supporting herself as a lab technician and as executive secretary of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Published in 1956, The Sacrifice won a Governor General’s Award for fiction and the Beta Sigma Phi Award. From 1957 to 1960, Wiseman lived in New York City on a Guggenheim fellowship; from 1961 to 1963, she again lived in London, writing children’s stories; and from 1964 to 1969, she was in Montreal, lecturing at Sir George Williams University, Macdonald College, and McGill University. Later she moved to Toronto, and wrote full-time. Her subsequent publications include: Old Markets, New World (1964), Crackpot (1974), Old Woman at Play (1978), Testimonial Dinner: A Play (1978, privately printed), Memoirs of a Book Molesting Childhood and Other Essays (1987), Kenji and the Cricket (1988), and many periodical articles. Wiseman received a Canada Council senior arts award to work on a third novel and was writer in residence at the University of Toronto in 1975 and 1976 and writer in residence at several other schools in Canada (Concordia, Trent, Western Ontario). She also headed the writing workshops at the Banff School of Fine Arts. She died in Toronto in 1992.

The fonds consists of: manuscripts (1948-1991), typescripts and printed copies of Wiseman’s novels, short stories, poetry, drama, non-fiction, and book reviews, including The Sacrifice; The Crackpot; The Lovebound; Testimonial Dinner; Someday Sam; Old Market, New world; Old Woman at Play; and numerous others; business correspondence (1948-1991) between Wiseman and her publisher, universities, and Canadian authors including Margaret Laurence, Malcolm Ross, Sylvia Fraser, James Reaney, Northrop Frye, and others; family correspondence (1923-1988) between Wiseman and her family members; general correspondence (1977-1998) from Wiseman’s friends and readers; financial records (1924-1992); personal papers (1945-1991) of contracts, photographs, family documents and material relating to Wiseman’s education and causes and organizations of interest; manuscripts, typescripts and printed material by other writers (1956-1988); journals (1951-1990), notebooks, address books, and loose notes of Wiseman’s; and an abundance of audio-visual records (1958-1999) that document Wiseman’s career as a writer and public figure.

Finding aid available.

Restrictions on access apply.

Inventory number: F0447