|Title:||The Flying Years|
|Publisher:||Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd.|
|Tags:||Canada, Canadiana, fiction, historical|
Originally published in 1935, Frederick Niven’s The Flying Years tells the history of Western Canada from the 1850s to the 1920s as witnessed by Angus Munro, a young Scot forced to emigrate to Canada when his family is evicted from their farm. Working in the isolated setting of Rocky Mountain House, Angus secretly marries a Cree woman, who dies in a measles epidemic while he is on an extended business trip. The discovery, fourteen years later, that his wife had given birth to a boy who was adopted by another Cree family and raised to be “all Indian” confirms Angus’s sympathies toward Aboriginal peoples, and he eventually becomes the Indian Agent on the reserve where his secret son lives. Angus’s ongoing negotiation of both the literal and symbolic roles of “White Father” takes place within the context of questions about race and nation, assimilation and difference, and the future of the Canadian West.— Wilfrid Laurier University Press. [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Niven, Frederick
Frederick Niven was British Columbia’s first professional man of letters and the first significant literary figure of the Kootenays. He lived by his wits, as an independent writer, mainly on the outskirts of Nelson, from 1920 until 1944. Although some of his more than 40 titles were written to keep the wolf from the door, such as Cinderella of Skookum Creek (1916), by contrast, Niven’s collection of 16 short stories called Above Your Heads (1911) consisted exclusively of stories rejected by editors who believed their content would be “over the heads” of readers.
Two of Niven’s historical novels, The Flying Years (1935) and Mine Inheritance (1940), are set on the prairies, but most of his work is set in either Scotland or British Columbia. In his final novel, The Transplanted (1944), Niven depicts the rise of B.C.’s interior ranching, lumbering and mining industries and their effects on a broad range of characters. Two transplanted men from Glasgow, Robert Wallace and Jock Galbraith, maintain a strong bond despite difficulties. Robert Wallace is a shrewd visionary who becomes a builder of Canada, opening up the town of Elkhorn.
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