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Margaret Laurence Writes Africa and Canada

By Laura K. Davis
Subjects Literary Criticism, Canadian Literature
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Hardcover : 9781771121460, 194 pages, May 2017
Paperback : 9781771121477, 194 pages, May 2017
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771121491, 194 pages, May 2017
Ebook (PDF) : 9781771121484, 194 pages, May 2017

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Margaret Laurence Writes Africa and Canada by Laura K. Davis
Introduction: Writing and Region
Part One: Writing About Africa
Chapter One: Conflicts of Culture in The Prophet's Camel Bell and This Side Jordan
Chapter Two: Toward Cross-Cultural Understanding: Margaret Laurence's Africa in The Tomorrow-Tamer and Other Stories
Part Two: Writing About Canada
Chapter Three: Community and the Canadian Nation in The Stone Angel and A Bird in the House
Chapter Four: Narrating Nation in The Diviners
Conclusion: Essays, Letters, and Politics
Works Cited


Margaret Laurence Writes Africa and Canada is the first book to examine how Laurence addresses decolonization and nation building in 1950s Somalia and Ghana, and 1960s and 1970s English Canada.
Focusing on Laurence’s published works as well as her unpublished letters not yet discussed by critics, the book articulates how Laurence and her characters are poised between African colonies of occupation during decolonization and the settler-colony of English Canada during the implementation of Canadian multiculturalism. Laurence’s Canadian characters are often divided subjects who are not quite members of their ancestral “imperial” cultures, yet also not truly “native” to their nation. Margaret Laurence Writes Africa and Canada shows how Laurence and her characters negotiate complex tensions between “self” and “nation,” and argues that Laurence’s African and Canadian writing demonstrates a divided Canadian subject who holds significant implications for both the individual and the country of Canada.
Bringing together Laurence’s writing about Africa and Canada, Davis offers a unique contribution to the study of Canadian literature. The book is an original interpretation of Laurence’s work and reveals how she displaces the simple notion that Canada is a sum total of different cultures and conceives Canada as a mosaic that is in flux and constituted through continually changing social relations.