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Of This Earth: A Mennonite Boyhood in the Boreal Forest

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  84 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Rudy Wiebe has written award-winning fiction for decades. He is recognized as one of Canada's finest literary treasures. Twice he has received Canada's most prestigious prize for fiction writing: The Governor-General's Award (equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize for fiction). Now comes new recognition for Wiebe's nonfiction writing. His recently released childhood memoir, Of ...more
Published November 1st 2007 by Good Books (first published 2006)
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Lisa Kearns
Jun 24, 2013 Lisa Kearns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Rudy Wiebe's books that I've read, but I plan to look for others. Mr. Weibe writes this book as a loving memory of his childhood in the boreal forests of Canada around the time of WWII. His parents had escaped the terrors of Stalinist Russia around the time he was born, and then eked out a living by farming.

I was entranced by his descriptions of his chldhood - the animals, the seasons, his extended family living nearby, the school he attended, and his memories of the joys of
Nov 09, 2015 Len rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. My father, who is turning 94, also grew up in Saskatchewan on various homesteads and there are definite similarities, including the low German. Reading this book brought to memory many of the stories I have heard from my father over the years. Thank you for writing down your stories, Rudy Wiebe.
Descriptions of early prairie life put you there. Entrancing.
May 09, 2016 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-known Canadian author Rudy Wiebe spent his early formative years in northern Saskatchewan. If you grew up in Saskatchewan it was, like Rudy, in the boreal forest, the great plains or, like me, the prairie parkland. Rudy is the same generation as my parents and many of his rural experiences also resonant with me from the stories I heard or my own memories. Rudy, however, like many prairie folk was from a Russian Mennonite family and community and their faith and history colours his story as ...more
Joseph Gascho
May 11, 2016 Joseph Gascho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read.
Mar 20, 2014 Wes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jan 03, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this memoir because it feels like the author is always trying to be honest and open with the reader. I am currently reading A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway and while I am enjoying it some parts feel like an inside joke that few would understand (myself included). The way Rudy Wiebe describes his farmstead and the nearby forests is breathtaking and makes me want to escape the city at once. I highly recommend this memoir if you are a fan of his fiction work.
Sep 28, 2014 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would call this book charming but that would diminish it. It is an eclectic collection of thoughts, experiences and information from Rudy Wiebe and about his world.
Barb Terpstra
In a way this book reminded me of "My Antonia" by Willa Cather, which is one of my all time favorite books, but it wasn't quite as lyrical. I did like how the author used the German language in his remembrances of church hymns and his parent's interactions with each other, and that he then gave the translations. It is very much a memoir, a somewhat slow place, like he's enjoying all the remembering.
Shonna Froebel
Jan 19, 2014 Shonna Froebel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, memoir
Memories of my maternal grandparents.
Double buns and Pripps.
Jun 12, 2009 Adrian added it
Poetic memoir of growing up in rural Saskatchewan and Coaldale, Alberta. Memories flow together in an evocative way- it's the flow of language and the combination of rememberings which makes more of an impression than actual events. Deeply effected by his sister's death. Reminds me of Loren Eiseley. Enjoyable.
Oct 12, 2012 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a delightful memoir. I was especially interested in reading it because my husband was also raised in a Mennonite family, and when he read this book there were lots of similarities to his own story. A very worthwhile read.
Oct 23, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lyrical and story-like, which is pleasant and easy to read. I enjoyed how all his stories drift into one another, so you start to lose yourself and enter the setting even more than a straight chronology ever could do.
Kenneth Reed
Aug 09, 2013 Kenneth Reed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For people of the 'Mennonite tribe', this is a fascinating book. For anyone else, it may lack interest, despite the fact that Wiebe chalked up another award with this book. In my opinion, he needs an editor.
Setting in No. Sask. Canada. Thot the book was disjointed. Author past his prime. His Peace Shall Destroy Many made a much better impression.
Jun 30, 2012 Becci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a delightful coming-of-age story, told with tenderness and honesty. vivd descriptins of the boeal forest of Wiebe's childhood.
Ted Dettweiler
Jul 03, 2008 Ted Dettweiler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rudy Wiebe fans, Russian Mennonites
Author writes about his childhood in Saskatchewan, with stops also in Alberta and B.C. Essential reading for Rudy Wiebe fans.
Feb 24, 2009 Pat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
Excellent biography of a writer's childhood in northern Saskatchewan in the 30's and 40's.
Anne St. john
Interesting from an historical and linguistic point of view., but somewhat dry.
Oct 10, 2012 Roberta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Evocative, moving, nostalgic.
Mar 11, 2008 Angie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Interesting read
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Wiebe was born at Speedwell, near Fairholme, Saskatchewan in what would later become his family’s chicken barn. For thirteen years he lived in an isolated Mennonite community of about 250 people. He did not speak English until age six since Mennonites at that time customarily spoke Low German at home and standard German at Church. He attended the small school three miles from his farm and the Spee ...more
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