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Literary Criticism Native American

Northern Voices

Inuit Writings in English

edited by Penny Petrone

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
May 2017
Native American, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2017
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 1992
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2017
    List Price

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Inuit of northern Canada have a rich oral tradition in their ancient languages and a more recent tradition of written English. Penny Petrone traces the two paths that link the cultural past of arctic peoples with its expression in the present day.

The book's first section includes traditional legends, myths, folk history told by native story-tellers, and poetry sung by Inuit composers. The second presents statements and observations by some of the first Inuit to come into contact with European newcomers, including official reports, interviews, letters, and diaries. Next are early poetry and prose in translation, much of it autobiographical. The final section includes contemporary Inuit writing, from essays and speeches to fiction, poetry, and other genres of imaginative literature. The editor has provided an introduction for each item and arranged the material chronologically to give historical perspective and continuity to the whole.

About the author

Penny Petrone is retired from the Faculty of Education, Lakehead University. She is the editor of First People, First Voices, a collection of Native writing in English.

Penny Petrone's profile page

Editorial Reviews

'A good introduction to the rich culture of the Inuit, and a powerful argument for their right to self-determination.'

Now Magazine

'A valuable cultural document.'

Canadian Historical Review

'[Petrone's] own prose is vibrant and clear, imbued with love and respect for the people whose voices she has made accessible to those who would hear.'

The Globe and Mail

Other titles by Penny Petrone