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Social Science Popular Culture


How We Talk About Canada

by (author) W.H. New

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Jun 1998
Popular Culture
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 1998
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2011
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 1998
    List Price

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The border between Canada and the United States not only seperates us geographically and politically, but also is an important symbol for defining Canadian nationality. In Borderlands, New poetically and metaphorically considers the image of 'the border' in Canada and how it affects the way Canadians look at themselves and their society.

About the author

WILLIAM NEW is the author and editor of more than fifty books. A native of Vancouver, where he currently lives, he was educated at the University of British Columbia (where he later taught for 37 years) and the University of Leeds. From his first days as a student at UBC, he has been committed to the importance of Canadian writing and to making it accessible to readers around the world. His academic works include A History of Canadian Literature, the massive Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada, and several extensive studies of irony and the short story. Writing more personally, his Borderlands: how we talk about Canada and Grandchild of Empire consider how local perspectives inform our political judgments. A prize-winning teacher and researcher, he was awarded the Royal Society of Canada's Lorne Pierce Medal, and for his services to creative and critical writing he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.

William New's creative publications include five books for children (including the internationally honoured The Year I Was Grounded) and eleven previous collections of poetry (including Underwood Log, shortlisted for the Governor General's Award; YVR, winner of the City of Vancouver Award; and New & Selected Poems). His latest collection, Neighbours, questions whether any of us ever lives alone.

These poems ask what it means to live near, whether in close proximity or in ragtag memory--and to consider what happens when closeness dissolves and a neighbourhood dies.

W.H. New's profile page


  • Winner, Bronze Medal, Leipzig International Book Art Competition for best designed book
  • Winner, Alcuin Citation for excellence in book design in Canada, Alcuin Society

Editorial Reviews

Within the borderlands that separate and join Canadians and Americans, the Canadian search for difference goes on.

The Globe and Mail

What New has to say is important since he recasts the issues of national identity in a post-modernist fin de siècle ambiguity... New acknowledges new issues that have fundamentally challenged national boundaries, such as the multinational corporation, multiculturalism, and aboriginal identity.

Western Historical Quarterly

... it would be a shame if New’s thoughtful and thought-provoking volume were overlooked because Borderlands is one of those rare books that work on many carefully layered levels: literary, poetic, philosophical and political. ... a rich tapestry.

Georgia Straight, October 15-22, 1998

Other titles by W.H. New