I’m so excited to announce two new releases in Canadian literature criticism. These books have been eagerly awaited by readers and are sure to become staples in the libraries of lovers of CanLit.
What CanLit is is a subject vociferously debated at any given time. Most recently there have been blog posts and journal articles with opposing points of view popping up all over the internet. In the latest issue of Canadian Notes and Queries, lit blogger Steven W. Beattie writes Fuck Books! about his frustration about the prose that fills the books repeatedly rewarded in Canada. One of his targets, Anne Michaels, recently published in The Atlantic her observations about Canadian literature, specifically with regard to multiculturalism. This article prompted Beattie to write again, this time on his blog, That Shakespearean Rag, about her prose style. Ouch!
But it’s important to have these discussions, and that’s why it was so great to see last year The New Quarterly and Canadian Notes and Queries publish an alternative to the Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories, edited by Jane Urquhart. TNQ and CNQ jointly published Salon de Refusés, a collection of stories they thought should have been included in the volume. The CNQ website explains the rationale behind the selection.
I know that these two books offer a valuable contribution to that conversation. Pick them up at better booksellers everywhere. For courses, you can order an examination copy by emailing your course information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
||Transnational Canadas, written by Kit Dobson, marks the first sustained inquiry into the relationship between globalization and Canadian literature written in English. Tracking developments in the literature and its study from the centennial period to the present, it shows how current work in transnational studies can provide new insights for researchers and students.
||Unsettled Remains: Canadian Literature and the Postcolonial Gothic, edited by Cynthia Sugars and Gerry Turcotte, examines how Canadian writers have combined a postcolonial awareness with gothic metaphors of monstrosity and haunting in their response to Canadian history. The essays gathered here range from treatments of early postcolonial gothic expression in Canadian literature to attempts to define a Canadian postcolonial gothic mode. Many of these texts wrestle with Canada’s colonial past and with the voices and histories that were repressed in the push for national consolidation but emerge now as uncanny reminders of that contentious history. The haunting effect can be unsettling and enabling at the same time.
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