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In Wolfe’s clothing

Kathleen Winter envisions the life of a 16th-century army officer reincarnated as a modern- day vet suffering from PTSD



A FEW YEARS ago, looking to publish a book in conjunction with Canada’s sesquicentennial, Knopf Canada settled on the story of James Wolfe, the British major general who led his army to defeat the French at Quebec’s Plains of Abraham i n 1759 a nd d ied f rom wounds sustained in the battle. The University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library had purchased a trove of Wolfe’s personal correspondence for nearly $1.5 million in 2013, and Knopf received permission to use the letters as source material. When the writer originally commissioned for the project was forced to abandon it, Knopf’s publishing director Lynn Henry approached Kathleen Winter. “I thought Kathleen would write an unusual sort of nonfiction book out of this material says Henry, who worked with Winter on her acclaimed 2010 novel, Annabel, when Henry was publisher at House of Anansi, which also published Winter’s 2014 non-fiction book, Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage, about the ill-fated Franklin expedition of the 1840s.

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About Quill & Quire

Kidlit Spotlight: how children's book authors uncover beauty, hope, and adventure in the dark places; Fall book reviews: New reads from Frances Itani, Mariko Tamaki, Chris Turner, and Anne Michaels.