Mary Victoria Murray was born in Abee, Alberta on February 28, 1937 as the last of seven children born to Polish immigrants who homesteaded in Northern Alberta. Her first seventeen years on the homestead formed the "basaltic structure" of her character. She devotes her "platinum years" to reading, writing, gardening and exaltation. She never knew her mother so her book There Was No Balm In Gilead is partly an attempt express that loss and express the difficulties of her early life. It deals with both the Depression of the 1930's and the depression of many women who couldn't survive the homestead experience, emphasizing some of the sacrifices that were foisted upon her eldest sister as a surrogate mother. She also references the Alberta Medical Health laws which sanctioned involuntary sterilization of people who were deemed "unfit".

Her novel The Displaced continues the story of her sister's martyrdom as her life was severely restricted for the convenience of their father. It is set in 1947 when the term--displaced people--aka DP--was a widely accepted term.


The Displaced (Kurka Books / Printorium) 978-0-9936862-0-7 $22.95

There Was No Balm In Gilead
978-0-9936862-0-7 $ 22.99 pb

[BCBW 2016]