First published in 1987, this is an introductory study of the most widely read Canadian women’s novelists of the 1970s and 1980s. At its centre lies the question of how the search for a distinctive cultural identity relates to the need for a national cultural identity in the post-colonial era. Coral Ann Howells argues that Canadian women’s fiction throughout the period of study represents how the Canadian cultural identity exceeds its geographical limits, and those traditional structures of patriarchal authority need revision if women’s alternative views are to be taken into account. Including short biographical sketches and a complete list of the books published by the authors under discussion, writers examined include Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, and Margaret Laurence.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Canadianness and women’s fiction 2. Margaret Laurence: A Bird in the House, The Diviners 3. Margaret Atwood: Bodily Harm, A Handmaid’s Tale 4. Alice Munro: Lives of Girls and Women, The Beggar Maid 5. Mavis Gallant: Home Truths 6. Marian Engel: Bear; Joy Kogawa Obasan; Janette Turner Hospital The Ivory Swing 7. Audrey Thomas: Latakia; Joan Barfoot Dancing in the Dark 8. Marie-Claire Blais Les Nuits de L’underground/Nights in the Underground; Anne Hébert Héloïse; Conclusion; Notes; Biographical sketches; Bibliography; Index