Written from 1980 to 1988, these essays explore the role of feminism in literature across a uniquely Canadian bilingual context. Through its rich introspection and eloquence, Scott shows the author's journey through a male-dominated literary canon into a celebration of her era, concluding that, "A writer may do as she pleases with her epoch. Except ignore it." These essays emerge from a network of women speaking, writing, thinking. In fact, they intersect a decade of remarkable flowering of feminist, postmodern writing in Québec – a decade where the ethical function of the text has been underscored in a writing practice greatly concerned with deciphering the effects of social contructs in language. This emphasis on the relationship between our struggles and writing-as-change has gained us, I believe, a new sense of what the essay is: a form deriving not only from the ideological, but also, the self-reflexive and the fictional.
About the author
Gail Scott is an experimental novelist. The Obituary (New York, Nightboat, 2012; Coach House, 2010), a ghost story set in a Montreal triplex, was a 2011 finalist for Le Grand Prix du Livre de la Ville de Montreal. Other novels include My Paris (Dalkey Archive), about a sad diarist in conversation with Gertrude Stein and Walter Benjamin in late 20th century Paris, Main Brides and Heroine. Spare Parts Plus 2 is a collection of stories and manifestoes. Essays are collected in Spaces Like Stairs and la theorie, un dimanche (translated as Sunday Theory from Belladonna, NY, 2013). Scott's translation of Michael Delisle's Le D'asarroi du matelot was shortlisted for the Governor General's award in 2001. Scott co-founded the critical French-language journal Spirale'(Montreal) and is co-editor of the New Narrative anthology: Biting the Error: Writers Explore Narrative (Toronto: Coach House, 2004). She is currently completing a memoir based in Lower Manhattan during the early Obama years.