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October 20, 2010

Immigration Week: Wild Geese

Filed under: Item of the Day — Adam Harris @ 1:43 pm

Wild Geese

In celebration of the new “Becoming Minnesotan” web site at the Minnesota Historical Society, this week’s Item of the Day theme is the history of immigration in Minnesota and the experiences of contemporary immigrant populations.

Martha Ostenso was born in Bergen, Norway. She moved to Minnesota when she was two but didn’t learn English until she went to school. She was cruelly teased but loved the English language and kept a list of words that she thought sounded wonderful, like “cyclone” and “potato.” Her first novel, Wild Geese, was based on her experience teaching in a one room log school house in Manitoba and concerns immigrant farmers in the Red River Valley. It won her a prize worth more than $150,000 in today’s dollars and allowed her to become a full time writer.

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One Response to “Immigration Week: Wild Geese”

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