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published: June 2017
ISBN:9781552388907

Writing Alberta

Building on a Literary Identity

contributions by Tasha Hubbard; Harry Vandervlist; R. Douglas Francis; Cynthia Zimmerman; Joseph Pivato; Neil Querengesser; Moira Day; Geo Takach; Jars Balan; Katherine Govier, edited by Donna Coates & George Melnyk

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canadian, 20th century, 21st century
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rated!
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list price: $34.95
edition:Paperback
published: June 2017
ISBN:9781552388907
Description

Alberta writing has a long tradition. Beginning with the pictographs of Writing-on-Stone, followed by Euro-Canadian exploration texts, the post-treaty writing of the agrarian colonization period, and into the present era, Alberta writing has come to be seen as a distinct literature. In this volume Melnyk and Coates continue the project of scholarly analysis of Alberta literature that they began with Wild Words: Essays on Alberta Literature (2009). They argue that the essays in their new book confirm that Alberta's literary identity is historically contingent with a diverse, changing content, that makes its definition a work-in-progress. The essays in this volume provide contemporary perspectives on major figures in poetry and fiction, such as Robert Kroetsch, Sheila Watson, Alice Major, and Fred Stenson. Other essays bring to light relatively unknown figures such as the Serbian Canadian writer David Albahari and the pioneer clergyman Nestor Dmytrow. Writing Alberta: Building on a Literary Identity offers a detailed discussion of contemporary Indigenous writers, an overview of Alberta historiography of the past century, and the fascinating autobiographical reflections of the novelist Katherine Govier on her literary career and its Alberta influences. This Collection demonstrates that Alberta writers, especially in the contemporary period, are not afraid to uncover, re-think, and re-imagine parts of Alberta history, thereby exposing what had been lain to rest as an unfinished business needing serious re-consideration.

About the Authors

Tasha Hubbard

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Harry Vandervlist

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R. Douglas Francis

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Donna Coates is an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Calgary. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand women's literary responses (fiction and drama) to the First and Second World Wars, and to the Vietnam War in Australia.
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George Melnyk is a prominent writer of the Canadian West who lives in Calgary. He is the author of a half-dozen nonfiction books on the West, including the two-volume Literary History of Alberta. He has also previously published a book of poetry, Ribstones, with Ekstasis Editions. He teaches at the University of Calgary.
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Cynthia Zimmerman has been a highly regarded commentator on Canadian playwriting and on the voice of women on the Canadian stage for her whole career at Glendon College, York University, where she is a professor in the English department. Previously book review editor of the international journal Modern Drama and a member of its advisory board, Zimmerman has authored or co-authored a number of books, including Playwriting Women: Female Voices in English Canada. She has produced many articles, chapters, and public papers. She also edited the successful anthology, Taking the Stage, for Playwrights Canada Press.
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Cynthia Zimmerman has been a highly regarded commentator on Canadian playwriting and on the voice of women on the Canadian stage for her whole career at Glendon College, York University, where she is a professor in the English department. Previously book review editor of the international journal Modern Drama and a member of its advisory board, Zimmerman has authored or co-authored a number of books, including Playwriting Women: Female Voices in English Canada. She has produced many articles, chapters, and public papers. She also edited the successful anthology, Taking the Stage, for Playwrights Canada Press.
Author profile page >

Cynthia Zimmerman has been a highly regarded commentator on Canadian playwriting and on the voice of women on the Canadian stage for her whole career at Glendon College, York University, where she is a professor in the English department. Previously book review editor of the international journal Modern Drama and a member of its advisory board, Zimmerman has authored or co-authored a number of books, including Playwriting Women: Female Voices in English Canada. She has produced many articles, chapters, and public papers. She also edited the successful anthology, Taking the Stage, for Playwrights Canada Press.
Author profile page >

Cynthia Zimmerman has been a highly regarded commentator on Canadian playwriting and on the voice of women on the Canadian stage for her whole career at Glendon College, York University, where she is a professor in the English department. Previously book review editor of the international journal Modern Drama and a member of its advisory board, Zimmerman has authored or co-authored a number of books, including Playwriting Women: Female Voices in English Canada. She has produced many articles, chapters, and public papers. She also edited the successful anthology, Taking the Stage, for Playwrights Canada Press.
Author profile page >

Cynthia Zimmerman has been a highly regarded commentator on Canadian playwriting and on the voice of women on the Canadian stage for her whole career at Glendon College, York University, where she is a professor in the English department. Previously book review editor of the international journal Modern Drama and a member of its advisory board, Zimmerman has authored or co-authored a number of books, including Playwriting Women: Female Voices in English Canada. She has produced many articles, chapters, and public papers. She also edited the successful anthology, Taking the Stage, for Playwrights Canada Press.
Author profile page >

Cynthia Zimmerman has been a highly regarded commentator on Canadian playwriting and on the voice of women on the Canadian stage for her whole career at Glendon College, York University, where she is a professor in the English department. Previously book review editor of the international journal Modern Drama and a member of its advisory board, Zimmerman has authored or co-authored a number of books, including Playwriting Women: Female Voices in English Canada. She has produced many articles, chapters, and public papers. She also edited the successful anthology, Taking the Stage, for Playwrights Canada Press.
Author profile page >

Katherine Govier’s most recent novel, The Ghost Brush, was published in the United States as The Printmaker’s Daughter, and in translation in Romania, Spain, Quebec, and Japan. Her novel Creation was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has won the Marian Engel Award and the Toronto Book Award, and has twice been nominated for the Trillium Book Award. The author of twelve previous books, Katherine Govier divides her time between Toronto, Ontario, and Canmore, Alberta.

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Editorial Reviews

Imagine, if you will, that you are standing beside me in a bookstore. Then imagine me telling you that I am reading a collection of academic essays about Alberta writers. Is that you I see streaking away to the farthest bookshelf? Is that me you see streaking away beside you? Well, no, not this time.

According to poet John Ciardi, the best that any literary analysis can do is to prepare the reader to enter a work more perceptively. It's a subtle gift, and the best of the 13 essays in Writing Alberta do just that.. As a whole, Writing Alberta will deepen understanding of Alberta literature… Early writers could be as full of hiss and vinegar as writers today - and as determined to find effective ways to write about this place we call Alberta.

- Merna Summers, Alberta Views


Writing Alberta is an extraordinary collection of thirteen deftly crafted and presented essays… [It] is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library Canadian Literary Studies collections. - Helen Dumont, Midwest Book Review

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