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Painted Fires

Afterword by Cecily Devereux
By Nellie L. McClung
Subjects Fiction, Literary Criticism, Canadian Literature
Series Early Canadian Literature Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554589791, 265 pages, June 2014
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554589944, 265 pages, July 2014
Ebook (PDF) : 9781554589937, 265 pages, July 2014


Painted Fires, first published in 1925, narrates the trials and tribulations of Helmi Milander, a Finnish immigrant, during the years approaching the First World War. The novel serves as a vehicle for McClung’s social activism, especially in terms of temperance, woman suffrage, and immigration policies that favour cultural assimilation. In her afterword, Cecily Devereux situates Painted Fires in the context of McClung’s feminist fiction and her interest in contemporary questions of immigration and “naturalization.” She also considers how McClung’s representation of Helmi Milander’s story draws on popular culture narratives.