Elizabeth Waterston is a 2011 Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada.
L.M. Montgomery grew up in Prince Edward Island, a real place of "politics and potatoes." But it's her fictional island, a richly textured imaginative landscape that has captivated a world of readers since 1908, when Anne of Green Gables became the first of Montgomery's long string of bestsellers.
In this wide-ranging and highly readable book, Elizabeth Waterston uses the term "magic" to suggest that peculiar, indefinable combination of attributes that unpredictably results in creative genius. Montgomery's intelligence, her drive, and her sense of humour are essential components of this success. Waterston also features what Montgomery called her "dream life," a "strange inner life of fancy which had always existed side by side with my outer life." This special ability to look beyond the veil, to access vibrant inner vistas, produced deceptively layered fictions out of a life that saw not just its share of both fame and ill fortune, but also what Waterston calls "dark passions."
A true reader's guide, Magic Island explores the world of L.M. Montgomery in a way never done before. Each chapter of Magic Island discusses a different Montgomery book, following their progression chronologically. Waterston draws parallels between Montgomery's internal "island," her personal life, her professional career, and the characters in her novels. Designed to be read alongside the new biography of Montgomery by Mary Rubio, this is the first book to reinterpret Montgomery's writing in light of important new information about her life. A must-read for any Montgomery fan, Magic Island offers a fresh and insightful look at the world of L.M. Montgomery and the "magic" of artistic creation.
Elizabeth Waterston was born in Montreal, and educated at McGill, Bryn Mawr, and University of Toronto. She taught literature at the University of Guelph and the University of Western Ontario for many years, and is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Guelph.