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Literary Criticism Canadian

Recognition and Revelation

Short Nonfiction Writings

by (author) Margaret Laurence

edited by Nora Foster Stovel

foreword by David Laurence

afterword by Aritha van Herk

Publisher
McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2020
Category
Canadian
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780228003465
    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price
    $130.00
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780228003472
    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price
    $39.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780228004769
    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price
    $39.95

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Description

Margaret Laurence, best known for her germinal novels set in the Canadian prairies, is one of the nation's most respected authors. She was also an accomplished essayist, yet today her nonfiction writing is largely unavailable and therefore little known. In Recognition and Revelation Nora Foster Stovel brings together Laurence's short nonfiction works, including many that have not previously been collected and some that have never before been published. These works, including over fifty essays and addresses that span Laurence's writing career from the 1960s to the 1980s, reveal her passionate concern for Canadian literature and for the land and peoples of Canada. Based on extensive archival research, Stovel's introduction contextualizes Laurence's nonfiction writings in her life as a creative artist and political activist and as a woman writing in the twentieth century. The texts range from essays on Laurence's own writings and on other works of Canadian literature to autobiographical essays, several focusing on environmental concerns, to sociopolitical essays and writing advocating for peace and nuclear disarmament. By revealing Laurence as a socially and politically committed artist, this collection of lively and provocative essays illuminates the undercurrents of her creative writing and places her fiction - often informed by her nonfiction writing - in a new light.

About the authors

Margaret Laurence was born in 1926 in Neepawa, Manitoba. She published her first novel, This Side of Jordan (one of several works to be set in Africa), in 1960. The Stone Angel, published in 1964, was her second novel. It was an immediate success, as were her four subsequent Manawaka novels: A Jest of God (which won the 1967 Governor General's Award and was later made into the film Rachel, Rachel), The Fire Dwellers, A Bird in the House, and The Diviners — winner of the 1974 Governor General's Award. In 1971, Laurence was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. Remembered also as a peace activist, she died in 1987.

Margaret Laurence's profile page

Nora Foster Stovel is professor emerita, University of Alberta, and the author and editor of several books including Divining Margaret Laurence and Recognition and Revelation: Margaret Laurence’s Short Nonfiction Writings.

Nora Foster Stovel's profile page

David Laurence's profile page

Aritha van Herk teaches Creative Writing, Canadian Literature and Contemporary Narrative. Her novels include Judith, The Tent Peg, No Fixed Address (nominated for the Governor General's Award for fiction), Places Far From Ellesmere (a geografictione) and Restlessness. Her critical works, A Frozen Tongue (ficto-criticism) and In Visible Ink (crypto-frictions) stretch the boundaries of the essay and interrogate questions of reading and writing as aspects of narrative subversion. With Mavericks: an Incorrigible History of Alberta (winner of the Grant MacEwan Author's Award) van Herk ventured into new territory, transforming history into a narratological spectacle. That book frames the new permanent exhibition that opened at the Glenbow Museum in 2007. van Herk is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and is active in Canada's literary and cultural life, writing articles and reviews as well as creative work. She has served on many juries, including the Governor General's Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. She is well known in the broader community of the city, the province, and the country as a writer and a public intellectual.

Aritha van Herk's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"We have long needed such an edition of Laurence's uncollected essays and speeches, to make this important aspect of her oeuvre available to both scholars and the general public. Selecting among all these for a single volume is a daunting project, which Nora Foster Stovel has judiciously accomplished." Carol Beran, Saint Mary's College of California

"In collecting all these essays, Stovel provides a sweeping and comprehensive look at an iconic Canadian writer which hasn't been previously available." David Staines, University of Ottawa

"Throughout the collection, Laurence's wry sense of humour, moral compass, and eye for the ridiculous and the subtly moving shine through. For anyone who loves her fiction, these writings will complement and deepen their relationship to one of our most important Canadian authors." Montreal Review of Books

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