A valuable contribution to the emergence of realism in Canadian writing
Craig Forrester is newly home following World War I, newly married, and newly mired in social upheaval. Will he choose complacency alongside his peers, or his personal moral code? Originally published in 1923, The Magpie is a social commentary turned novel about the disillusionment that developed after the war. Set against the backdrop of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange, The Magpie offers an articulate and perceptive examination of the greed, hypocrisy, and intolerance of the ‘decent’ classes, the agrarian myth, the role of women in post-war society, and the evolution of moral codes in Canadian Society.
Douglas Durkin (1884-1968) grew up in northern Ontario and Manitoba. After receiving his BA he taught English in a number of schools and universities. In 1929 he moved to New York City, and from then on concentrated on his writing. He wrote most of his novels jointly with Martha Ostenso (who became is wife), composed several ballads with Carl Sandberg, and collaborated on a screenplay, Union Depot, with Gene Fowler. He also contributed short stories to Harper’s Magazine, Liberty, and Century.
“It is a very fair story of Canada in general and Winnipeg in particular at more or less the present moment… as a resume of the situation in all its nebulous, overgrown, loose-endedness, it is distinctly striking.”
— Canadian Bookman, 1924