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Unconventional Heroines (by Stacey May Fowles)
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Unconventional Heroines (by Stacey May Fowles)

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Stacey May Fowles, author of Fear of Fighting, Be Good, and now Infidelity, compiled this list of books with strong, original heroines.
Sub Rosa

Sub Rosa

edition:Paperback
tagged :
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Why it's on the list ...
In this innovative and haunting debut novel, Amber Dawn thoughtfully explores the missing and the marginalized via a teenage runaway named Little. Little embarks on a kind of subversive hero’s quest through a dark underground (and perhaps an allegory of Vancouver’s seedy underbelly.) A stunning exploration of innocence, sexuality, and the sinister forces that corrupt and entrap us.
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Lemon

Lemon

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : literary
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Why it's on the list ...
Strube proves that striking intelligence comes from the mouths of babes with her teenage heroine, Lemon. Gems of wisdom litter each page, offering insight on everything from historical atrocities to everyday, mind-numbing malaise. The novel bravely and authentically allows the reader crawl inside the head of a teen girl who sees the world with more clarity than any adult.
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We So Seldom Look On Love
Why it's on the list ...
In a story collection that treads true Gowdy territory, a diverse collection of unconventional characters are thrust into strange and occasionally comical situations. The author bravely takes us to the very fringes of acceptable behaviour and challenges our notions and norms with deft skill and zero shame.
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She Would Be the First Sentence of My Next Novel
Why it's on the list ...
Brossard blurs the line between fiction and autobiography, between essay and novel, with this moving, romantic narrative on the power of prose. She Would Be the First Sentence of My Next Novel is an inventive experiment in the explanation of this love affair that is fiction.
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Anne of Green Gables
Excerpt

Daring was the fashionable amusement among the Avonlea small fry just then. It had begun among the boys, but soon spread to the girls, and all the silly things that were done in Avonlea that summer because the doers thereof were “dared” to do them would fill a book by themselves. . . .

Now, to “walk” board fences requires more skill and steadiness of head and heel than one might suppose who has never tried it. But Josie Pye, if deficient in some qualities that make for popularity, had at least a natural and inborn gift, duly cultivated, for walking board fences. Josie walked the Barry fence with an airy unconcern which seemed to imply that a little thing like that wasn’t worth a “dare.” Reluctant admiration greeted her exploit, for most of the other girls could appreciate it, having suffered many things themselves in their efforts to walk fences. Josie descended from her perch, flushed with victory, and darted a defiant glance at Anne.

Anne tossed her red braids.

“I don’t think it’s such a very wonderful thing to walk a little, low, board fence,” she said. “I knew a girl in Marysville who could walk the ridge-pole of a roof.”

“I don’t believe it,” said Josie flatly. “I don’t believe anybody could walk a ridge-pole. You couldn’t, anyhow.”

“Couldn’t I?” cried Anne rashly.

“Then I dare you to do it,” said Josie defiantly. “I dare you to climb up there and walk the ridge-pole of Mr. Barry’s kitchen roof.”

Anne turned pale, but there was clearly only one thing to be done. She walked towards the house, where a ladder was leaning against the kitchen roof. All the fifth-class girls said, “Oh!” partly in excitement, partly in dismay.

“Don’t you do it, Anne,” entreated Diana. “You’ll fall off and be killed. Never mind Josie Pye. It isn’t fair to dare anybody to do anything so dangerous.”

“I must do it. My honour is at stake,” said Anne solemnly. “I shall walk that ridge-pole, Diana, or perish in the attempt. If I am killed you are to have my pearl bead ring.”

Anne climbed the ladder amid breathless silence, gained the ridge-pole, balanced herself uprightly on that precarious footing, and started to walk along it, dizzily conscious that she was uncomfortably high up in the world and that walking ridge-poles was not a thing in which your imagination helped you out much. Nevertheless, she managed to take several steps before the catastrophe came. Then she swayed, lost her balance, stumbled, staggered and fell, sliding down over the sun-baked roof and crashing off it through the tangle of Virginia creeper beneath — all before the dismayed circle below could give a simultaneous, terrified shriek.

If Anne had tumbled off the roof on the side up which she ascended Diana would probably have fallen heir to the pearl bead ring then and there. Fortunately she fell on the other side, where the roof extended down over the porch so nearly to the ground that a fall therefrom was a much less serious thing.

Nevertheless, when Diana and the other girls had rushed frantically around the house — except Ruby Gillis, who remained as if rooted to the ground and went into hysterics — they found Anne lying all white and limp among the wreck and ruin of the Virginia creeper.

“Anne, are you killed?” shrieked Diana, throwing herself on her knees beside her friend. “Oh, Anne, dear Anne, speak just one word to me and tell me if you’re killed.”

To the immense relief of all the girls, and especially of Josie Pye, who, in spite of lack of imagination, had been seized with horrible visions of a future branded as the girl who was the cause of Anne Shirley’s early and tragic death, Anne sat dizzily up and answered uncertainly:

“No, Diana, I am not killed, but I think I am rendered unconscious.”

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Why it's on the list ...
No exploration of revelatory Canadiana would be complete without everyone’s favourite redheaded upstart. When the orphan arrives at Green Gables she’s certainly not the boy the Cuthbert’s had hoped for, but with charm and imagination she manages to defy expectations and win hearts by simply being her exceptional self. The original heroine of the unconventional.
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Forms Of Devotion

Forms Of Devotion

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

Diane Schoemperlen's acclaimed In the Language of Loveexpanded our expectations of the contemporary novel, using everydaywords to deconstruct a young woman's life and loves. In her new shortstory collection, Forms of Devotion, she again tests the bounds of her craft, creating an arresting and wonderfully readable work that is also a treat for the eye.

Forms of Devotioncontains eleven stories, each one a brilliant interplay of words andimages. The illustrations, selected by Schoemperlen and depict …

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Lives of Girls and Women

Lives of Girls and Women

tagged : literary

Alice Munro's first collection of linked stories traces Del Jordan's uneasy passage through adolescence. Her mother believes that sometime soon women will stop seeing themselves in terms of men. Del, humiliated by her body's insistent desires and trying desperately to fall in love, isn't so sure. Munro's eye for the telling detail makes Lives of Girls and Women among the most vivid accounts of adolescence in Canadian literature.

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