Stories Subversive: Through the Field with Gloves Off : Short Fiction

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University of Ottawa Press, 1996 - Fiction - 227 pages
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First-wave feminist, activist and social reformer, Nellie McClung ranked as one of the most popular Canadian authors and among the liveliest critics of Canada's male-dominated society of the early 1900s. Well ahead of her time, McClung was known as a writer who dared to discuss taboo topics, and for her inimitable humour which rivals that of Stephen Leacock, Canada's best-known humourist.

This selection of her best short fiction includes depictions of difficult rural living conditions in Western Canada aswell as "consciousness-raising" stories reflecting the undue restrictions on women and the anti-female laws and attitudes of the day. While most were published in U.S. and Canadian magazines between 1906 and 1931, a few of these stories appear here for the first time. In addition, a detailed introduction discusses McClung's life and analyses the themes and stylistic touches of each of the stories making up this unique anthology.

McClung's fiction plays a vital part in the establishment of a history of the consciousness of women, particularly in the Canadian context. Her stories make an invaluable contribution to the understanding of Canada's past and identity.

 

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Stories subversive: through the field with gloves off: short fiction

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Though not well known in the United States, McClung (1873-1951) was one of Canada's early feminist writers. In this collection of short stories she uses humor as one weapon against the male-dominated attitudes of the day. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
The Live Wire
35
Babette
49
The Way of the West
54
The Return Ticket
64
The Runaway Grandmother
71
You Never Can Tell
82
An Unvarnished Tale of September 21st 1911
93
Red and White
106
Banking in London
145
The Neutral Fuse
152
Carried Forward
175
The Grim Fact of Sisterhood
217
O Canada
222
Copyright

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Page 19 - When I wrote I would write of the people who do the work of the world and I would write it from their side of the fence, and not from the external angle of the casual visitor who likes to believe that the poor are always happy.
Page 7 - ... women would be different and special, we need to reconstruct its past, to rediscover the scores of women novelists, poets and dramatists whose work has been obscured by time, and to establish the continuity of the female tradition from decade to decade, rather than from Great Woman to Great Woman. As we recreate the chain of writers in this tradition, the patterns of influence and response from one generation to the next, we can also begin to challenge the periodicity of orthodox literary history,...
Page 7 - Before we can even begin to ask how the literature of women would be different and special, we need to reconstruct its past, to rediscover the scores of women novelists, poets and dramatists whose work has been obscured by time, and to establish the continuity of the female tradition from decade to decade, rather than from Great Woman to Great Woman.
Page 15 - And now with the Senate doors open there are only the two great institutions that will not accept women on equal terms — the church, and the beer parlours.

About the author (1996)

MARILYN L. DAVIS, retired, is a specialist in Canadian literature. She taught at the University of Western Ontario and at the University of Saskatchewan.

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