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Biography & Autobiography Literary

Looking for Anne

How Lucy Maud Montgomery Dreamed Up a Literary Classic

by (author) Irene Gammel

Key Porter Books
Initial publish date
Apr 2008
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2010
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2008
    List Price

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By any standards, Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables is a stunning success. Published in 1908 (and not once out of print), Anne has sold more than 50 million copies, been translated into more than 17 languages (including Braille), and become the focus of international conferences devoted to its interpretation. Anne has remained, as Matthew sings in the musical, “forever young,” no small feat for the spunky, in-your-face redhead who, in 2008, celebrates her 100th birthday!
But why Anne” How does Montgomery's classic work pull so many international readers into the vortex of Anne's freckled face and carrotty braids” How does this little book create such enduring interest around the world” The answer is far more intriguing than any story even Anne could have imagined. In her journal, Maud's quick pen would froth up the tiniest details of her life into dramatic events, but that same pen never revealed a single word about Anne. As a result, the novel's secrets have remained sealed for over a century.
Looking for Anne is the untold story of a literary classic and a writer who found inspiration in many places including the popular images of the era, such as beauty icons, fashion plates, and advertisements; a writer who quietly quarried her material from American mass market periodicals; who consciously imitated formula fiction to create marketable stories for juvenile periodicals, religious newspapers, and glamorous women's magazines—and who ultimately, in the storm that brewed up the novel, also transcended these influences to create a twentieth-century literary classic that would conquer the world.
Blending biography with cultural history, penetrating and uncensored, this is the definitive book on Anne of Green Gables. Looking for Anne captures both the spirit of Marilla's critical probing for “bald facts” and Anne's belief in the infinite power of the imagination. It is a must-read for anyone who has ever fallen under the spell of Anne with an “e.”
Praise for Looking for Anne:
Looking for Anne takes a bold new look at Anne of Green Gables. If you have loved Anne of Green Gables and wonder how she came about, I recommend that you read Irene Gammel's book. — Kate Macdonald Butler (Lucy Maud Montgomery's granddaughter)
Visit the Looking for Anne webpage by clicking here

About the author

Irene Gammel holds a Canada Research Chair in Modern Literature and Culture at Ryerson University in Toronto, where she is also the Director of the Modern Literature and Culture Research Center dedicated to the study of modern women writers. The author and editor of 13 books, Gammel is the curator of the exhibit Anne of Green Gables: A Literary Icon at 100. Together with Suzanne Zelazo she has co-edited Body Sweats: The Uncensored Writings of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (2010) and Crystal Flowers: Poems and a Libretto by Florine Stettheimer (BookThug, 2010). Gammel divides her time between Toronto and Sackville, New Brunswick.

Irene Gammel's profile page

Other titles by Irene Gammel