Description : The essays collected in this volume offer a range of different approaches to the significance of the work of Margaret Laurence, historical, feminist, descriptive and thematic, in which critics from Europe, America and Canada offer assessments of this 20th century novelist.
Description : In Writing Grief, Christian Riegel argues that the protagonists in Margaret Laurence's books achieve resolution through acts of mourning, placing this fiction within the larger tradition of writing that explores the nuances and strategies of mourning. Riegel's analysis alludes to sociological and literary antecedants of the study of mourning, including the tradition of elegy, from Derrida and Lacan to Freud, van Gennep, and Milton.
Description : Whereas previous studies focus on certain aspects of her work, Divining Margaret Laurence addresses all her important writings, including a final, unfinished manuscript - "Dance on the Earth: A Memoir." This comprehensive study of her writings, including archival material, allows Nora Stovel to trace the development of Laurence's Canadian identity, feminist sympathies, moral vision, and creative artistry.
Description : Margaret Laurence instinctively turned to the epic mode to create archetypal narratives of loss, exile, and redemption. Drawing on the Bible, Dante, and Milton, Laurence absorbed the epic structure and populated it with the Manawaka world of Hagar Shipley, Rachel Cameron, Stacey MacAindra, and Morag Gunn. Paul Comeau traces the development of Margaret Laurence's voice from its tentative beginnings in her African fiction to its culmination in the Manawaka Cycle. According to Comeau, Laurence's ability to illustrate the epic dimension in her characters' strengths and weaknesses has ensured her a lasting place among great Canadian writers.
Description : How can postcolonialism be applied to Canadian literature? In all that has been written about postcolonialism, surprisingly little has specifically addressed the position of Canada, Canadian literature, or Canadian culture. Postcolonialism is a theory that has gained credence throughout the world; it is be productive to ask if and how we, as Canadians, participate in postcolonial debates. It is also vital to examine the ways in which Canada and Canadian culture fit into global discussions as our culture reflects how we interact with our neighbours, allies, and adversaries. This collection wrestles with the problems of situating Canadian literature in the ongoing debates about culture, identity, and globalization, and of applying the slippery term of postcolonialism to Canadian literature. The topics range in focus from discussions of specific literary works to general theoretical contemplations. The twenty-three articles in this collection grapple with the recurrent issues of postcolonialism — including hybridity, collaboration, marginality, power, resistance, and historical revisionism — from the vantage point of those working within Canada as writers and critics. While some seek to confirm the legitimacy of including Canadian literature in the discussions of postcolonialism, others challenge this very notion.
Description : How can we approach Margaret Laurence's writing in a postcolonial and postmodern age? Challenging Territory is a collection of essays that examine positionality across the range of Laurence's writing, from her early journalism through the fiction to the late nonfiction.
Description : Racial, Ethnic, Gender and Class Representations in Margaret Laurence’s Writings is a study on Canada, Canadian literature and Margaret Laurence’s works in particular, thus addressing various kinds of readership. This book avoids the danger of limiting the approach to solely focusing attention on Canada by presenting a thorough analysis of various literary genres, allowing the book to be of interest to all literature lovers. Furthermore, the book explores the parallelism between life and fiction, emphasising Laurence’s biographic and realist elements and their influence on the writer’s fictional writing, revealing real and imaginary worlds which would appeal to anybody’s literary needs. This major contribution to the already existent criticism of Margaret Laurence’s works lies in the analysis of her work as an entity, balancing both terms of the common binary oppositions: fiction versus non-fiction, Africa versus Canada, white versus Black or Metis. In spite of critical comments which might be raised, Andreea Topor-Constantin comments on how the voice of the marginal makes itself heard throughout the author’s books, underlying Laurence’s emphasis on characterisation and her genuine concern for people. This book covers all aspects of Laurence’s life and fiction: from the African to the writer’s Canadian background, from adults’ to children’s literature, from novels to short stories, from essays to letters, in order to challenge readers’ perceptions of race, ethnicity, gender and class.
Description : Part One of this strongly worded, informed, and wide-ranging collection examines key issues for the future of Canadian criticism. Part Two offers new readings of important works by Grove, Wilson, MacLennan, Davies, Laurence, Hood, Wiebe, Hodgins, and Atwood. As W.J. Keith argues, `We still have a mission: to have our literature recognized as an essential reflection of our national life. This is what I mean by retrenchment and consolidation. Literature can survive without literary criticism but it cannot survive if it is unknown and unread. It is criticism's prime function at the present time to see that it is both known and read with that mature enjoyment which is a combination of emotional sensitivity and humane intelligence. As critics, scholars, editors, we shall not be fulfilling our responsibilities or justifying our existence if we attempt anything less.' Or as Keith modestly observes in his introduction to this collection, `If this book is of any interest, it will be because Canadian literature is an important subject. Literary commentators like myself are middle-men, and should be prepared to admit the fact. If this book succeeds in helping readers to appreciate the works of Canadian writers that I discuss, and to derive increased pleasure and insight from them, it will have served its purpose. I can see no other justification for it -- or for any other work of criticism.'
Description : "... Changing the Story... gives an excellent and well-informed account of the differences between the American, Canadian, British, and French attitudes towards feminism and feminist fiction and literary theory.... a very readable book... which reminds us that literature can change us, and that through it we can change ourselves." -- Margaret Drabble "A distinctive contribution -- clear, elegant, precise, and well-read -- to the feminist discussion of narrative, of Anglo/Canadian/white North American novelists, and to contemporary fiction. Greene tracks how feminist novelists draw upon, and negotiate with traditional narrative patterns, and how their critical approach implicates, and provokes, social change. The book brings us to an intelligent post-humanism which does not scant the social meanings of metafictional critique. And, in addition, this book remembers hope." -- Rachel Blau DuPlessis "Changing the Story is an invaluable guide to the feminist classics of the last three decades. This is cultural criticism at its best: engaged, re-visionary, and politically astute." -- Nancy K. Miller "Greene tells a very good tale about how feminist fiction emerged, developed, made changes in the world, and now threatens to wane." -- The Women's Review of Books "Her probing analysis... should captivate general readers as well as academics." -- WLW Journal "Changing the Story is an important work of feminist criticism certain to spark controversy within the feminist community." -- American Literature The feminist fiction movement of the 1960s--1980s was and is as significant a movement as Modernism. Gayle Greene focuses on the works of Doris Lessing, Margaret Drabble, Margaret Atwood, and Margaret Laurence to trace the roots of this feminist literary explosion. She also speculates on the future of feminist fiction in the current regressive period of "post feminism."