National and Female Identity in Canadian Literature, 1965-1980: The Fiction of Margaret Laurence, Margaret Atwood, and Marian Engel (Hardback)Cinda Gault
Hardback Published: 01/04/2012
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This book contributes to Canadian social history by comparing how three female novelists depicted nationalism and gender from 1965-1980. This book discusses how national identity is depicted among Female Canadian authors in the mid to late twentieth century. It shows the traversal of realism and idealism, ethnicity, gender, and the construction of community in several novels. She argues that most critics emphasize the romance aspects of the novels, particularly because these are women authors, and ignore or overlook the realist dimensions to the stories. Doing this often creates a certain stereotype about women authors, and female identity, that poses issues related to one's national identity. While in the 1960's-80's it was not fashionable to talk about identity as constructed out of a confluence of several competing forces(economic, political, social, racial, gendered, religious), these authors were ahead of their time because this is precisely what they were doing. This study analyses fiction published by Canadian women writers Margaret Laurence, Margaret Atwood, and Marian Engel during the years 1965-1980. Gault argues that their fiction was appreciated in that era according to the understandings of successful female and national identities, achieved by an emphasis on conventions of romance at the expense of realism's more pointed scepticism.
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd