A new critical edition of the acknowledged best Canadian novel of the 1930s. Irene Baird’s Waste Heritage is a groundbreaking work of Canadian fiction based on the dramatic and violent labour disputes that took place in British Columbia in 1938. The story follows the progress of two friends, Matt Striker, a 23-year-old from Saskatchewan, and his simple-minded companion Eddy, as they travel from Vancouver to Victoria following the occupation of the Vancouver Post Office. Like the unemployed masses that took siege of the Post Office, Matt and Eddy yearn for relief after years of economic depression. Empathetic and tragic, Waste Heritage has been praised as Canada’s Grapes of Wrath and the most important Canadian novel of the 1930s.
A new critical apparatus surrounds Baird’s original text, informing the reader of the historical and literary contexts of the work, as well as providing exhaustive textual analysis.