In what the New York Times calls “one of the towering novels of [the twentieth] century,” former British consul Geoffrey Firmin lives alone with his demons in the shadow of two active volcanoes in South Central Mexico. Gripped by alcoholism, Geoffrey makes one last effort to salvage his crumbling life on the day that his ex-wife, Yvonne, arrives in town.
It’s the Day of the Dead, 1938. The couple wants to revive their marriage and undo the wrongs of their past, but they soon realize that they’ve stumbled into the wrong place and time, where not only Geoffrey and Yvonne, but the world itself is on the edge of Armageddon.
Hailed by the Modern Library as one of the one hundred best English novels of the twentieth century, Under the Volcano stands as an iconic and richly drawn example of the modern novel at its most lyrical.
For fans of the novel Under the Volcano, this collection of stories—many of them published for the first time posthumously—provides great insight into the author’s genius. The stories range from heartfelt tragedy to exuberant triumph. In the novella “Through the Panama,” a burned-out, alcoholic writer tries to make sense of the literature that has kept him afloat while the pulse of his life grows harder to distinguish. In “The Forest Path to Spring,” a couple that has survived hell finds new life in the seclusion of a vast forest. And in “The Bravest Boat,” a young boy sends a message across the ocean to an unknown recipient. Together, these stories reveal a writer who traveled widely, observed keenly, and maintained an engrossing literary style that still reverberates today.
In this debut novel by the acclaimed novelist and poet, Dana Hilliot seeks absolution from his wealthy British upbringing, escaping the bourgeois provincialism of his origins by setting out to sea as a messboy amid a crew of weathered, world-weary sailors. Lost somewhere between Singapore and Bombay, Hilliot has fled his oppressive life—and his first love—for a world that has no interest in his problems.
Part Moby Dick, part A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ultramarine draws on Malcolm Lowry’s own early experience—and displays the flair for character and dazzling prose that distinguished him as one of English literature’s greatest modern talents.
Edited by Malcolm Lowry’s widow and released more than a decade after his death, October Ferry to Gabriola is the sentimental story of two individuals striving for sanity, inspiration, hope, and purpose in the deep seclusion of the British Columbian forest. Once the couple finds a new home in the woods, their new, off-the-grid life together becomes their last attempt at finding stability... Illuminating and joyful, October Ferry to Gabriola is a striking ode to the struggle for hope amid the purity of the wilderness—a story made all the more poignant by Lowry’s untimely death before publication.
Atwood applies this thesis in twelve brilliant, witty, and impassioned chapters; from Moodie to MacLennan to Blais, from Pratt to Purdy to Gibson, she lights up familiar books in wholly new perspectives. This new edition features a foreword by the author.
In CliffsNotes on The Handmaid's Tale, you come to realize that for every utopia, there's a corresponding dystopia. This tale of a bleak future depicts a time where women are valued only for their reproductive capacities. While this cautionary tale of repression and totalitarianism is horrifying, there are moments of poetic warmth and humor. It is a brilliant satire.
This concise supplement to Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale helps you understand the overall structure of the novel, actions and motivations of the characters, and the social and cultural perspectives of the author. Features that help you study includeChapter-by-chapter summaries and commentariesA timeline of critical events that leads to the climax of the novelA character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the charactersCritical essays on women's roles in the novel, and the use of literary devices, themes, and settingsA review section that tests your knowledge
Classic literature or modern-day treasure—you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
The current popularity of memoir verifies the common belief that we each have a story to tell. And we do...especially women. Memoirs are not only representations of women’s personal lives but also of their desire to repossess important parts of our culture, in which women’s stories have not mattered.
Beginning with her own motivations for writing memoirs, Helen M. Buss examines the many kinds of memoir written by contemporary women: memoirs about growing up, memoirs about traumatic events, about relationships, about work. In writing memoirs, these women publicly assert that their lives have mattered. They reshape the memoir, a form as old as the middle ages and as young as today, into a social discourse that blends the personal with the political, the self with the significant other, literature with history, and fiction with autobiography and essay. Buss urges readers to use their reading experience to help themselves understand and write the significance of their own lives.
Repossessing the World is the first book-length critical inquiry into women’s use of a form that has often been dismissed as less important than autobiography, less professional than the novel, and less intellectual than the formal essay. Buss demonstrates that the memoir makes its own art, not only through selective borrowing from these genres but also through the unique way that the tripartite narrative voice of the memoir constructs the personal and public experience of the memorist as significant to our cultural moment.
Making extensive use of unpublished material in the Margaret Atwood Papers at the University of Toronto, York demonstrates the extent to which celebrity writers must embrace and protect themselves from the demands of the literary world, including by participating in – or even inventing – new forms of technology that facilitate communication from a slight remove. This informative study calls overdue attention to the ways in which literary celebrity is the result not only of a writer’s creativity and hard work, but also of an ongoing collaborative effort among professionals to help maintain the writer’s place in the public eye.
The poetry and poetics of Don McKay provide Ornithologies of Desire with its primary subject matter, which is predicated on attention to ornithological knowledge and avian metaphors. This focus on birds enables a consideration of more broadly ecological relations and concerns, since an awareness of birds in their habitats insists on awareness of plants, insects, mammals, rocks, and all else that constitutes place. The book’s chapters are organized according to: apparatus (that is, science as ecocritical tool), flight, and song.
Reading McKay’s work alongside ecology and ornithology, through flight and birdsong, both challenges assumptions regarding humans’ place in the earth system and celebrates the sheer virtuosity of lyric poetry rich with associative as well as scientific details. The resulting chapters, interchapter, and concordance of birds that appear in McKay’s poetry encourage amateurs and specialists, birdwatchers and poetry readers, to reconsider birds in English literature on the page and in the field.
In these pages, I argue that the spatial and behavioral discourses in the novels of contemporary customs offer a telling history of the evolving formulation of the Spanish bourgeoisie. The linking of novels and urbanism is hardly arbitrary in the context of nineteenth-century Spain. Urbanism, particularly in the nineteenth century, was as much a verbal construction as the novel, as proven by the lengthy treatises of such prominent Spanish bureaucrats, engineers, architects, and urban planners as Ramón de Mesonero Romanos, Ildefons Cerdà and Carlos María de Castro. For Spanish intellectuals of this era, city planning and the novel functioned as parallel, enmeshed discourses in which to work out what it meant to be middle class and the roles this class ought to play in contemporary society. In this way, they can be considered associated fields of discourse, in the sense described by Michel Foucault in The Archaeology of Knowledge. Foucault's treatise was a call for scholars to reexamine historical fields and question the historical grouping of knowledge(s) into certain discursive unities, and consider whether these might be broken up and new ones conceived.In this vein, this book undertakes a broader and more integrative view of the Spanish nineteenth century, calling into question the boundaries of fields such as etiquette and urban planning, or literature and touristic discourse.
The twenty samples of Montgomery scholarship included in this volume broach topics such as gender and genre, narrative strategies in fiction and life writing, translation, and Montgomery’s archival papers. They reflect shifts in Montgomery's critical reputation decade by decade: the 1960s, when a milestone chapter on Montgomery coincided with a second wave of texts seeking to create a canon of Canadian literature; the 1970s, in the midst of a sustained reassessment of popular fiction and of literature by women; the 1980s, when the publication of Montgomery’s life writing, which coincided with the broadcast of critically acclaimed television productions adapted from her fiction, radically altered how readers perceived her and her work; the 1990s, when a conference series on Montgomery began to generate a sustained amount of scholarship; and the opening years of the twenty-first century, when the field of Montgomery Studies became both international and interdisciplinary.
This is the first book to consider the posthumous life of one of Canada's most enduringly popular authors.
The selections appearing in this first volume focus on Montgomery’s role as a public celebrity and author of the resoundingly successful Anne of Green Gables (1908). They give a strong impression of her as a writer and cultural critic as she discusses a range of topics with wit, wisdom, and humour, including the natural landscape of Prince Edward Island, her wide readership, anxieties about modernity, and the continued relevance of “old ideals.” These essays and interviews, joined by a number of additional pieces that discuss her work’s literary and cultural value in relation to an emerging canon of Canadian literature, make up nearly one hundred selections in all.
Each volume is accompanied by an extensive introduction and detailed commentary by leading Montgomery scholar Benjamin Lefebvre that trace the interplay between the author and the critic, as well as between the private and the public Montgomery. This volume – and the Reader as a whole – adds tremendously to our understanding and appreciation of Montgomery’s legacy as a Canadian author and as a literary celebrity both during and beyond her lifetime.
A captivating inquiry, First Person Plural offers a vital, interdisciplinary discussion of how told-to narratives contribute to larger debates about Indigenous voice and literary and political sovereignty.
Munro has founded her own brand of the short story: longer than traditionally practiced in the short-story form and encompassing broader time frames. Her stories are primarily character studies that explore the impact of physical and mental isolation in adolescence, middle age, and into elder years. Hooper traces Munro's evolving definition of the short story form and surveys the fiction in an effort to elucidate the works for newcomers and enthusiasts alike.
Individual chapters present a range of methodological approaches to understanding national culture and creative labour in global contexts. Through their collective enactment of methodological crosstalk, they demonstrate the productivity of scholarly debate across differences of outlook, culture, and training. In highlighting convergences and disagreements, the book sharpens our understanding of how literary and critical conventions and theories operate within and across cultures.
The subjects of the essays range widely: the non-linear structure of Carol Shield's "The Stone Diaries;" the impact of Aberhart's Social Credit, Marshall McLuhan, and Mesopotamian myth on Robert Kroetsch's prairie postmodernism; the role of document in long prairie poems; the connection between cultural tourism and heritage; the theme of regeneration in Margaret Laurence's Manawaka writing; the influence of imagination on geography in Thomas Wharton's Icefields; and the effects on an alpine climber of pre-WWII ideological concepts of time and individualism.
In this book, Sandra Sabatini examines Canadian fiction to trace the ideological charge behind the represented infant. Examining writers from L.M. Montgomery and Frederick Philip Grove to Thomas King and Terry Griggs, Sabatini compares women’s writing about babies with the way infants appear in texts by men over the course of a century. She discovers a range of changing attitudes toward babies. After being seen as a source of financial burden, social shame, or sentimental fantasy, infants have increasingly become a source of value and meaning.
The book challenges the perception of babies as passive objects of care and argues for a reading of the infant as a subject in itself. It also reflects upon how the representations of infancy in Canadian literature offer an intriguing portrait of how we imagine ourselves.
"There is no Canadian writer of whom we can say ... that their readers can grow up inside their work without ever being aware of a circumference." Northrop Frye came to that conclusion after a detailed study of the imaginative achievements of Canada’s writers from the earliest period to 1965, when that sentence from his study first appeared in print. Over the decades since then, the statement has come to be regarded as a benchmark of individual and national literary achievement.
The Northrop Frye Quote Book is a specialized dictionary of quotations on all subjects that is based on the thoughts and writings of one person. It is the handiwork of a single contributor, albeit the cogitations of a remarkable one. It is also evidence that there is a Canadian writer of whom it may be said that we can grow up inside his work "without ever being aware of a circumference."
John Robert Colombo has written, translated, edited, or compiled over two hundred books, including seven dictionaries of quotations. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and a Fellow of the Frye Centre at Victoria University.
Jean O’Grady, a graduate of the University of Toronto, served as the associate editor of The Collected Works of Northrop Frye. She is also the author of the biography of Margaret Addison, the first dean of women at Victoria College.
These essays reflect the literary interests and administrative activities of Dr. Roy and demonstrate the relationship between literature and the perennial human urge to achieve understanding and control of both the subjective and objective worlds.
Ty argues that writers such as Denise Chong, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, and Wayson Choy recast the marks of their bodies and challenge common perceptions of difference based on the sights, smells, dress, and other characteristics of their hyphenated lives. Others, like filmmaker Mina Shum and writers Bienvenido Santos and Hiromi Goto, challenge the means by which Asian North American subjects are represented and constructed in the media and in everyday language. Through close readings grounded in the socio-historical context of each work, Ty studies the techniques of various authors and filmmakers in their meeting of the gaze of dominant culture and their response to the assumptions and meanings commonly associated with Orientalized, visible bodies.
A Globe and Mail Best 100 Book (2006)
National Post Best Books (2006)
A bold cultural portrait of contemporary Canada through the work of its most celebrated novelists, short story writers, and storytellers.
Stories are the surest way to know a place, and at a time when the fabric of the country seems daily more uncertain, Noah Richler looks to our authors for evidence of the true nature of Canada. He argues why fiction matters and seeks to discover — in the extra-ordinary diversity of communities these writers represent — what stories, if any, bind us as a nation.
Over two years, Richler has criss-crossed the country and interviewed close to one hundred authors — a who’s who of Canadian literature, including Wayne Johnston, Michael Crummey, Alistair MacLeod, Gil Courtemanche, Jane Urquhart, Joseph Boyden, Miriam Toews, Yann Martel, Fred Stenson, Douglas Coupland, and Rohinton Mistry — about the places and ideas that are most meaningful to their work. The result is a journey through the reality of Canada and its imagination at a critical point in the country’s evolution. Within thematic chapters he exposes our “Myths of Disappointment” and considers the stories of our native peoples, the rise of the city, and how our history as a colony shapes our society and politics even today.
This Is My Country, What's Yours? is an impassioned literary travelogue and a vivid portrayal of our society, the work of Canadian authors, and the idea of writing itself.
This Is My Country, What's Yours? is based on Noah Richler’s ten-part documentary of the same name originally broadcast on CBC Radio’s flagship Ideas program in spring 2005.
From the Hardcover edition.
From the protofeminism of The Edible Woman, the cultural feminism of Surfacing, and the examination of the perils of Gothic thinking in Lady Oracle to the domestic and sexual warfare of Life Before Man, the anti-feminist backlash terrors of Bodily Harm and The Handmaid's Tale, and the power politics of female relationships in Cat's Eye, Atwood's women-centered fiction has strong oppositional appeal. Because Atwood does not shun what she calls the "story of the disaster which is the world," her tales are often brutal, portraying female victimization at the hands of the husband or male lover, the mother, or the female friend. But if the Atwood novel has the power to disturb, compel, and at times brutalize its reader, it is also carefully choreographed, using form and design to contain and control the female fears, anxieties, and anger that drive the narrative.
Blake examines the work of such authors as Mordecai Richler, David Adams Richards, Paul Quarrington, and Richard B. Wright, arguing that a study of contemporary hockey fiction exposes a troubled relationship with the national sport. Rather than the storybook happy ending common in sports literature of previous generations, Blake finds that today's fiction portrays hockey as an often-glorified sport that in fact leads to broken lives and ironic outlooks. The first book to focus exclusively on hockey in print, Canadian Hockey Literature is an accessible work that challenges popular perceptions of a much-beloved national pastime.
Rachel Adams considers a broad range of literary, filmic, and visual texts that exemplify cultural traffic across North American borders. She investigates how our understanding of key themes, genres, and periods within U.S. cultural study is deepened, and in some cases transformed, when Canada and Mexico enter the picture. How, for example, does the work of the iconic American writer Jack Kerouac read differently when his Franco-American origins and Mexican travels are taken into account? Or how would our conception of American modernism be altered if Mexico were positioned as a center of artistic and political activity? In this engaging analysis, Adams charts the lengthy and often unrecognized traditions of neighborly exchange, both hostile and amicable, that have left an imprint on North America’s varied cultures.
To most Americans and much of the rest of the world, America and Canada differ little except in terms of climate. It is true that they share a common British heritage and immigration patterns, but there are subtle cultural differences between the two countries. These may appear insignificant to Americans, but they are not insignificant to Canadians. Comparing mythologies each of the countries share about the other, the author examines national views of their histories, from the common origin of both nations in the American Revolution, through the two world wars. She also examines the role of nature and images of place and home in Canadian and American literary writing, noting the disparate historical development of the two national literatures. Using specific works by recognized authors of their time, Morrison considers the role of religion and the church, violence and the law, and humor and satire, in the literature of both countries. The book also explores the role of women, race, and class in the literature of both countries. It concludes with a discussion of the tenacity of national myths, and draws some tentative conclusions.
Now published in paperback in the United States, Morrison's broad-based approach to a largely unexplored subject will invite future study as well as improve understanding between Canada and the United States. Canadians and Americans will be of interest to cultural historians, American studies specialists, political scientists, and sociologists.
Katherine L. Morrison has taught at the University of Toronto and published in American and Canadian academic journals.
Dr. Cotrupi recontextualizes Frye's thought and shows us how Frye continues to be, not only relevant, but central to a number of the key concerns in the contemporary critical scene. Re-examining Frye's place in the history of critical thought, Dr. Cotrupi builds upon Frye's original vision of the "process" tradition and suggests further directions this exploration may take. Among the current areas of critical engagement which Cotrupi examines are relativism, possible world theory, and postmodernism — making this work of interest not only to Frye scholars, but also to those interested in the debates currently rocking the world of criticism, literature and culture.
“Glover is a master of narrative structure.”
—Wall Street Journal
In the tradition of E.M. Forster, John Gardner, and James Wood, Douglas Glover has produced a book on writing at once erudite, anecdotal, instructive, and amusing. Attack of the Copula Spiders represents the accumulated wisdom of a remarkable literary career: novelist, short story writer, essayist, teacher and mentor, Glover has for decades been asking the vital questions. How does the way we read influence the way we write? What do craft books fail to teach aspiring writers about theme, about plot and subplot, about constructing point of view? How can we maintain drama on the level of the sentence—and explain drama in the sentences of others? What is the relationship of form and art? How do you make words live?
Whether his subject is Alice Munro, Cervantes, or the creative writing classroom, Glover’s take is frank and fresh, demonstrating again and again that graceful writers must first be strong readers. This collection is a call-to-arms for all lovers of English, and Attack of the Copula Spiders our best defense against the assaults of a post-literate age.
Douglas Glover is the award-winning author of five story collections, four novels, and two works of non-fiction. He is currently on the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing program.
Praise for Douglas Glover
"So sharp, so evocative, that the reader sees well beyond the tissue of words into ... the author's poetic grace." - The New Yorker
"Glover invents his own assembly of critical approaches and theories that is eclectic, personal, scholarly, and smart ... a direction for future literary criticism to take." - The Denver Quarterly
"A ribald, raunchy wit with a talent for searing self-investigation." - The Globe and Mail
"Knotty, intelligent, often raucously funny." - Maclean's
"Passionately intricate." - The Chicago Tribune
"Darkly humorous, simultaneously restless and relentless." - Kirkus Reviews
With the intuition of an insider, Gibson asks the important questions: In what way is writing important to you? Do writers know something special? Does he or she have any responsibility to society? The result is a fascinating and immensely readable series of conversations with famed writers at the beginning of their careers.
The A List edition will feature a new introduction by Graeme Gibson and interviews with the following authors:
In Engendering Genre, renowned Margaret Atwood scholar Reingard M. Nischik analyzes the relationship between gender and genre in Atwood’s works. She approaches Atwood’s oeuvre by genre – poetry, short fiction, novels, criticism, comics, and film – and examines them individually. She explores how Atwood has developed her genres to be gender-sensitive in both content and form and argues that gender and genre are inherently complicit in Atwood’s work: they converge to critique the gender-biased designs of traditional genres. This combination of gender and genre results in the recognizable Atwoodian style that shakes and extends the boundaries of conventional genres and explores them in new ways.
The book includes the first in-depth treatment of Atwood’s cartoon art as well as the first survey of her involvement with film, and concludes with an interview with Margaret Atwood on her career “From Survivalwoman to Literary Icon.”
Resisting Western philosophy’s exclusion of imagination from civic life, Zwicky’s poetry is noteworthy for the tension it achieves between the abstract and the personal, the general and the particular. Meditating repeatedly on themes of love and grief, this poetry is at once passionately committed to the lucidity of its utterances and the fidelity of its images.
A Few Acres of Snow is a colletion of twenty-two essays that explore, from the geographer’s perspective, how poets, artists, and writers have addressed the physical essence of Canada, both landscape and cityscape. "Sense of place" is clearly critical in the works examined in this volume. Included among the book’s many subjects are Hugh MacLennan, Gabrielle Roy, Lucius O’Brien, the art of the Inuit, Lawren Harris, Malcolm Lowry, C.W. Jefferys, L.M. Montgomery, Elizabeth Bishop, Marmaduke Matthews, Antonine Mailet, and the poetry of Japanese Canadians.
Edited by leading Montgomery scholar Benjamin Lefebvre, this volume presents more than four hundred reviews from eight countries that raise questions about and offer reflections on gender, genre, setting, character, audience, and nationalism, much of which anticipated the scholarship that has thrived in the last four decades. Lefebvre’s extended introduction and chapter headnotes place the reviews in the context of Montgomery’s literary career and trace the evolution of attitudes to her work, and his epilogue examines the reception of Montgomery’s books that were published posthumously.
A comprehensive account of the reception of Montgomery’s books, published during and after her lifetime, A Legacy in Review is the illuminating final volume of this important new resource for L.M. Montgomery scholars and fans around the world.
Kathleen Gallagher and Barry Freeman bring together nineteen playwrights, actors, directors, scholars, and educators who discuss the role that theatre can – and must – play in professional, community, and educational venues. Stepping back from their daily work, they offer scholarly research, artists’ reflections, interviews, and creative texts that argue for theatre as a response to the political and cultural challenges emerging in the twenty-first century. Contributors address theatre’s contribution to local and global politics of place, its power as an antidote to various modern social ailments, and its pursuit of equality. Of equal concern are the systematic and practical challenges that confront those involved in realizing theatre’s full potential.
Taken from Eleven Canadian Novelists, which was originally published in 1973 by House of Anansi Press, the interview is a revealing and wide-ranging dialogue between two writers, and a rare view of Munro and her work.
With the intuition of an insider, Gibson asks the important questions: In what way is writing important to you? Do writers know something special? Does he or she have any responsibility to society? The result is a fascinating and immensely readable conversation with the famed short story writer at the beginning of her career.
Within this context, Barrett suggests, debates over who counts as Canadian, the limits of tolerance, and the breaking points of Canadian multiculturalism serve not as signs of multiculturalism’s failure but as proof of both its vitality and of the unique challenges that black writing in Canada poses to multicultural politics and the nation itself.