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Rudy Wiebe (Rudy Henry Wiebe) Biography

(1934– ), (Rudy Henry Wiebe), Peace Shall Destroy Many, The Blue Mountains of China

Canadian novelist, born in Northern Saskatchewan, educated at the Universities of Alberta and Tübingen. Raised in a tightly knit Mennonite community, Wiebe has remained a staunch Christian throughout his adult life, teaching at the Mennonite Brethren Bible College, Goshen College, Indiana, and at the University of Alberta, while also pursuing a career as a writer of post-modernist fictions. Most of his work is about Prairie minorities and demonstrates a strong regional commitment to questioning conventionally accepted versions of Canadian cultural identity. His first novel, Peace Shall Destroy Many (1962), is about a young Mennonite torn between the traditions of his community and religion and a yearning for a more individual existence. The Blue Mountains of China (1970) surveys the experience of the Mennonite diaspora in the Soviet Union, Paraguay, and Canada. The Temptations of Big Bear (1973), regarded by many as his finest novel to date, is another large-scale work, centred on the figure of a late nineteenth-century Cree Indian chief who defied central Canadian authority. Wiebe has also published the novels First and Vital Candle (1966), The Scorched-Wood People (1977), The Mad Trapper (1980), and My Lovely Enemy (1983); the short-story volumes Where Is the Voice Coming from? (1974) and The Angel of the Tar Sands and Other Stories (1982); Playing Dead (1989), ‘a contemplation concerning the Arctic’; and a novel for children.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Patrick White (Patrick Victor Martindale White) Biography to David Wojahn Biography