New Research Note: Maria Campbell’s Halfbreed and the Excised Passage

In “‘I write this for all of you’: Recovering the Unpublished RCMP ‘Incident’ in Maria Campbell’s Halfbreed (1973),” Deanna Reder and Alix Shield document their experiences as archival researchers uncovering a passage excised from the manuscript of Maria Campbell’s pathclearing autobiography Halfbreed by its publisher, McClelland & Stewart, prior to the book’s publication. Describing the manuscript’s publishing history and bringing to light the contents of this passage—removed against Campbell’s wishes—Reder and Shield analyze how its excision influences Halfbreed as a book, how its recovery reflects Campbell’s original intentions as a writer, and how the passage might inform both the historical legacy and contemporary relevance of Halfbreed. A version of this essay will appear in print in the Opinions and Notes section of the forthcoming special issue of Canadian Literature on “Diversity, Inclusivity, and Mentorship in Canadian Literary Culture: Histories and Futures.” We post it here in preview of that issue.

May 2019 update: A version of this article has now been published in Canadian Literature Issue 237 (pp. 13-25).

Excised manuscript pages from “Halfbreed Woman.” Used by permission of Maria Campbell.