Laura Salverson

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Laura Salverson
BornLaura Goodman
(1890-12-09)December 9, 1890
Winnipeg, Manitoba
DiedJuly 13, 1970(1970-07-13) (aged 79)
Toronto, Ontario

Laura Goodman Salverson (December 9, 1890 – July 13, 1970) was a Canadian author.[1] Her work reflected her Icelandic heritage. Two of her books won Governor General's awards for literature.

Early life[edit]

Salverson was born Laura Goodman in Winnipeg, Manitoba,[1] the daughter of Lárus Guðmundsson and Ingibjörg Guðmundsdóttir who immigrated to Winnipeg in 1887 from Grundir in Bolungarvík, Iceland. She married George Salverson in 1913.


While a young housewife and mother, Salverson began writing poetry. Several of her poems were published by local newspapers.[2]

In 1923 Salverson published her first novel. The Viking Heart.[3] She went on to write several novels based on Icelandic sagas and themes. Many of the characters in her stories were Scandinavian and German.[4]

Salverson wrote about her experiences with poverty and racial prejudice.[5] Her writings reflected her belief that Icelandic immigrants to Canada should maintain and support their Icelandic culture.[6] In 1939 she wrote an autobiography.[7]


  • The Viking Heart (1923)
  • When Sparrows Fall (1925)
  • Wayside Gleams (1925)
  • Lord of the Silver Dragons (1927)
  • The Dove (1933)
  • The Dark Weaver: Against the Sombre Background of the Old Generations Flame the Scarlet Banners of the New (1937), winner of a 1937 Governor General's Award
  • Black Lace (1938)
  • Confessions of an Immigrant's Daughter (1939), winner of a 1939 Governor General's Award
  • Immortal Rock: The Saga of the Kensington Stone (1954), winner of the 1954 Ryerson Fiction Award


  1. ^ a b Laura Salverson in The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ Merna Forster (12 November 2014). Canadian Heroines 2-Book Bundle: 100 Canadian Heroines / 100 More Canadian Heroines. Dundurn. p. 210. ISBN 978-1-4597-3087-8.
  3. ^ George Melnyk (1998). The Literary History of Alberta: From Writing-on-Stone to World War Two. University of Alberta. pp. 103–. ISBN 978-0-88864-296-7.
  4. ^ Terrence Craig (30 October 2010). Racial Attitudes in English-Canadian Fiction, 1905-1980. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-55458-661-5.
  5. ^ Julie Rak (2 August 2009). Auto/biography in Canada: Critical Directions. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-55458-771-1.
  6. ^ Daisy Neijmann (1997). Icelandic Voice in Canadian Letters: The Contribution of Icelandic-Canadian Writers to Canadian Literature. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-88629-317-8.
  7. ^ Norah Story (June 1967). The Oxford companion to Canadian history and literature. Oxford University Press. p. 744.

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