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Home Ground and Foreign Territory

Fiamengo, Janice (Hrsg.) | University of Ottawa Press | Reappraisals: Canadian Writers


Home Ground and Foreign Territory is an original collection of essays on early Canadian literature in English. Aiming to be both provocative and scholarly, it encompasses a variety of (sometimes opposing) perspectives, subjects, and methods, with the aim of reassessing the field, unearthing neglected texts, and proposing new approaches to canonical authors. Renowned experts in early Canadian literary studies, including D.M.R. Bentley, Mary Jane Edwards, and Carole Gerson, join emerging scholars in a collection distinguished by its clarity of argument and breadth of reference. Together, the essays offer bold and informative contributions to the study of this dynamic literature.

Home Ground and Foreign Territory reaches out far beyond the scope of early Canadian literature. Its multi-disciplinary approach innovates literal studies and appeals to literature specialists and general readership alike.

 
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The Worlds of Carol Shields

Staines, David (Hrsg.) | University of Ottawa Press | Reappraisals: Canadian Writers


"Carol was a very fine writer and a remarkable human being, a wonderful person whose work I closely followed for more than 20 years. I interviewed her frequently over those years, with virtually every work she produced —novel, radio drama, play, book of stories. So I had a good sense of the span of her work and also her evolution as a stylist. But the key reason I wanted to make a book focusing on her life and work is that we were friends."

—Eleanor Wachtel

This book strikes the right balance between intimate accounts and literary analysis. It opens with reminiscences by close friend Eleanor Wachtel, which are followed by a study of Shields’ poetry by her daughter and grandson, then by various aspects of her fiction, including a detailed examination of her plays. It closes with reminiscences by four close friends: Jane Urquhart, Joan Clark, Wayson Choy and Martin Levin.

The 23 contributors offer new insights, new theories, and new perspectives about Shields’ illuminating career. Only one piece—her obituary written by Margaret Atwood—has been previously published.

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Most of the 23 pieces in this collection were presented at a conference celebrating the work of Shields at the University of Ottawa in 2012. (...) These pieces wrap the collection in a quilt of affectionate memory of Carol Shields as a person, teacher and a friend that will be a necessary comfort for the non-academic reader of the book (...). Scholars will be grateful for the essays in this collection. Readers are advised to treat the book as a companion to a rereading of Shields oeuvre (...).

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Professor of English at the University of Ottawa, David Staines specializes in medieval literature and culture and Canadian literature and culture. In the former, he has published Tennyson’s Camelot: The Idylls of the King and Its Medieval Sources, and translated The Complete Romances of Chrétien de Troyes; in the latter, he published The Canadian Imagination: Dimensions of a Literary Culture, The Forty-Ninth and Other Parallels: Contemporary Canadian Perspectives, and The Letters of Stephen Leacock. He has also edited volumes on Morley Callaghan, Stephen Leacock and Margaret Laurence, and co-edited volumes of the writings of Northrop Frye and Marshall McLuhan. A long-time friend of Carol Shields, he wrote Carol Shields: Cultural Context, a part of Library and Archives Canada’s Web exhibition Canadian Writers.

 
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Shakespeare and Canada

Makaryk, Irena R.Prince, Kathryn (Hrsg.) | University of Ottawa Press | Reappraisals: Canadian Writers


Shakespeare in Canada is the result of a collective desire to explore the role that Shakespeare has played in Canada over the past two hundred years, but also to comprehend the way our country’s culture has influenced our interpretation of his literary career and heritage. What function does Shakespeare serve in Canada today? How has he been reconfigured in different ways for particular Canadian contexts?

The authors of this book attempt to answer these questions while imagining what the future might hold for William Shakespeare in Canada. Covering the Stratford Festival, the cult CBC television program Slings and Arrows, major Canadian critics such as Northrop Frye and Marshall McLuhan, the influential acting teacher Neil Freiman, the rise of Québécois and First Nation approaches to Shakespeare, and Shakespeare’s place in secondary schools today, this collection reflects the diversity and energy of Shakespeare’s afterlife in Canada.

Collectively, the authors suggest that Shakespeare continues to offer Canadians “remembrance of ourselves.” This is a refreshingly original and impressive contribution to Shakespeare studies—a considerable achievement in any work on the history of one of the central figures in the western literary canon.

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The best of these essays provide interesting overviews of how Shakespeare is performed in this country, particularly at Stratford. C. E. McGee’s opening chapter on Stratford’s nine productions of The Merchant of Venice is particularly rewarding for its investigation of how Merchant’s characters have been made to evolve. Robert Ormsby offers a detailed analysis of Stratford’s “multinationalist” productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night, cleverly tying director Leon Rubin’s imaginative concepts to Stratford’s role in creating cross-border tourism. Among the other thoughtful contributions are intriguing explorations by Kailin Wright and Don Moore of the CBC’s Slings & Arrows, the TV series inspired by the Stratford Festival; a tough, uncompromising, but gracefully written overview by Sarah Mackenzie of Stratford’s various attempts at acknowledging Indigenous traditions in Canada; and Annie Brisset’s fascinating take on the history of Shakespeare translations and productions in Quebec

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IRENA R. MAKARYK. Professor of English, cross-appointed to Theatre, at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests focus on Shakespeare’s afterlife, Soviet theatre, modernism, and theatre during periods of great social duress. Her most recent book is April in Paris 1925: Theatre, Politics, Space (forthcoming).

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KATHRYN PRINCE. Theatre historian at the University of Ottawa, where she is an Associate Professor and, in 2016, recipient of the Excellence in Education prize. Her current work focuses on the practice of emotions in early modern drama. She has published widely on Shakespeare in performance from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries.

 
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Alice Munro’s Miraculous Art

Fiamengo, JaniceLynch, Gerald (Hrsg.) | University of Ottawa Press | Reappraisals: Canadian Writers


Alice Munro’s Miraculous Art is a collection of sixteen original essays on Nobel laureate Alice Munro’s writings. The volume covers the entirety of Munro’s career, from the first stories she published in the early 1950s as an undergraduate at the University of Western Ontario to her final books. It offers an enlightening range of approaches and interpretive strategies, and provides many new perspectives, reconsidered positions and analyses that will enhance the reading, teaching, and appreciation of Munro’s remarkable—indeed miraculous—work.

Following the editors’ introduction—which surveys Munro’s recurrent themes, explains the design of the book, and summarizes each contribution—Munro biographer Robert Thacker contributes a substantial bio-critical introduction to her career. The book is then divided into three sections, focusing on Munro’s characteristic forms, themes, and most notable literary effects.

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Janice Fiamengo and Gerald Lynch’s edited collection of

essays on Alice Munro brings together a number of rigorous pieces from scholars

across the country on one of Canada’s best writers....Taken together, the

essays collected in Alice Munro’s Miraculous Art make an

important addition to the substantial corpus of literary criticism on Munro,

incorporating new and important perspectives on the beloved Canadian short

story writer.

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Alice Munro's Miraculous Art amply illustrates the complexity, multi-layeredness and ambiguities of Munro's work because (not in spite) of this narrow frame - with not a "defensive tone" to speak of.

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Janice Fiamengo is Full Professor of English at the University of Ottawa, specializing in early Canadian literature. She is the author of The Women’s Page (University of Toronto Press, 2008) and of numerous journal articles on Canadian women writers.

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Gerald Lynch has authored seven books and edited some dozen others, including three previously in the Reappraisals series. His critical studies include Stephen Leacock: Humour and Humanity (McGill-Queens University Press, 1988) and The One and the Many: Canadian Short Story Cycles (University of Toronto Press, 2001). He has published numerous short stories, essays and reviews, including a number on the writings of Munro. He is a former winner of the National Magazine gold award for short fiction, and has been teaching at the University of Ottawa since 1985.

 
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