Strange Comfort collects the best of Sherrill Grace’s many published essays on the novelist and writer Malcolm Lowry, along with new pieces that incorporate her contemporary approach to his work. There are essays on Under the Volcano, on some of the stories in Hear us O Lord from heaven thy dwelling place, and on Lowry’s most important themes: endless voyaging, the creative role and identity of the artist, the nightmare of history, the pressures of memory and the urgent need to protect the garden of our world. A visionary, Lowry prophetically addressed the dominant issues of our 21st century.
In her new essays, Dr. Grace explores his disturbing vision of the devastating impact of perpetual war, only one of many of Lowry’s preoccupations, and establishes that in many respects, Malcolm Lowry was an environmentalist avant la lettre, commenting on his vision of the natural world as an escape from the horror “of existence as sold to you.”
Lowry was an intensely autobiographical writer, a quality not appreciated during his lifetime. Today, critical perspectives have changed considerably, and Lowry’s anxiety about writing elements of his own life into fiction invites critical reassessment. Many of these essays offer a fresh look at Lowry’s attempts to apprehend and portray the writer, writing.
The title, Strange Comfort, comes from a Lowry short story called “Strange Comfort Afforded by the Profession.” These essays illustrate some of the ways in which Lowry found comfort in the world of art, of other writers and the landscape of his beloved Dollarton, British Columbia. Malcolm Lowry was in many ways a British writer, but his spiritual home?his creative comfort'surrounded him on the beach at Dollarton. 2009 marked the centenary of Lowry’s birth and this volume of essays, old and new, celebrates Lowry’s deep and enduring relevance for our times.
About the authors
Sherrill Grace is a professor of English and theatre at the University of British Columbia. She is former President, Academy I, of the Royal Society of Canada. She has lectured widely in North America, as well as in Germany, Italy, England, Belgium, France, China and Japan.
A member of several professional associations, including the Association of Canadian Studies, the Canadian Association of American Studies, the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, the Canadian Comparative Literature Association, the Modern Languages Association and the International Association of Professors of English, Grace was awarded the prestigious Killam Teaching Prize in 2008, and in 2009 she received the Ann Saddlemyer Award for her biography Making Theatre: A Life of Sharon Pollock.
?? transcend[s] the intellectual boundaries — in culture and the arts through cross-disciplinary collaboration.”
? Canada Council
Other titles by Sherrill Grace
A Life of Timothy Findley
Theatre and AutoBiography
Writing and Performing Lives in Theory and Practice
First Woman of Canadian Theatre
Performing National Identities ebook
International Perspectives on Contemporary Canadian Theatre
Landscapes of War and Memory
The Two World Wars in Canadian Literature and the Arts, 1977-2007
Perspectives on War and Peace from the Arts and Humanities
Painting the Maple
Essays on Race, Gender, and the Construction of Canada
On the Art of Being Canadian
Canada and the Theatre of War: Volume Two
A Life of Sharon Pollock