Monday, January 30, 2012

Canadian Heroines: Famous and Forgotten Faces

FAMOUS CANADIAN women abound. But while many people know the names Roberta Bondar, Alexa McDonough and Hayley Wickenheiser, fewer probably recognize Eliza M. Jones, Elizabeth Smellie and Kathleen Parlow.

The leader in agriculture, first female colonel in the Canadian Army and world-renowned violinist are three of the women featured in Merna Forster’s 100 More Canadian Heroines: Famous and Forgotten Faces (Dundurn, $24.99).

The followup to her first collection in 2004 features women from across the country who are noteworthy for reasons that vary from scientific discoveries, the arts and sports to prospecting at a time when women weren’t known for looking for the lucky strike.

Forster says that when she launched the first collection she already had plenty of names of potential profiles for the second book. But while promoting it, people would send dozens of potential names and see her at speaking engagements to share suggestions. Other names came from her travels and her work as a naturalist with Parks Canada.

By the time she was ready to start working on the second book, she had plenty of potential subjects but wanted to make sure she included a wide variety of women from different areas of the country, time periods, ethnic origins and types of achievement.

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