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.
Gail Scott is the author of Main Brides (Toronto: Coach House, 1993), Heroine (Coach House, 1987; Talon, 1997), which was nominated for the QSPELL (Québec English-language fiction) award and Spare Parts. She is co-author of Biting the Error: Writers Explore Narrative, La Théorie, un dimanche. She is also co-founder of Montréal French-language cultural journal Spirale and the bilingual journal of women's writing, Tessera.