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Literary Collections Canadian

Native Writers and Canadian Writing

edited by W.H. New

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Jan 1990
Canadian, Native American Studies
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1990
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2011
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 1991
    List Price

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Native Writers and Canadian Writing is a co-publication with Canadian Literature – Canada’s foremost literary journal – of a special double issue which focuses on literature by and about Canada’s Native peoples and contains original articles and poems by both Native and non-Native writers. These not only reflect the growing prominence of contemporary Native writing but also direct the reader to the traditional literature from which it springs and which has been largely misunderstood by the non-Native community – myths, rituals, and songs having been interpreted more often as artistic “curiosities” rather than the masterworks of a different culture. Essays examining the conventional portrayals of Native people in literature touch on works which range from the eighteenth-century journals of explorer Alexander Mackenzie, to the novels of James Fenimore Cooper, and to early writers in Canada such as historian-humourist Thomas Chandler Haliburton.

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

Editorial Reviews

Native Writers and Canadian Writing is so sweeping in its scope and ambition that it creates a kind of spiritual universe of its own, an enchanting place that a reader does not want to leave. Each piece in this breathtaking anthology leads to another ... With the rising at Oka last summer, and what seems the continuing deafness of both Ottawa and Quebec to native concerns, this exhortation to listen is timely. But Native Writers and Canadian Writing is not about immediate political concerns. It provides a context that goes beyond the nightmare of history to timeless human values ... The question of non-natives writing about native subjects is dealt with but on the level of the deep sub-conscious, where many qualities of humanity are the same. The native spirit informs the Americas, and these essays and poems allow us to touch all who once walked the land we all walk ... The spirit of both the men and women in this anthology, the living and the dead, has a transformational magic that can touch us all.

The Globe and Mail

English professor W.H. New has compiled an impressive collection of current perspectives on native writers who have assumed some measure of prominence ... as well as some fresh looks at voices from the past.

The Edmonton Journal

Its commentary and essays are well selected and organized to give context and meaning to the native writing presented.

The Province

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