Wild Mother Dancing: Maternal Narrative in Canadian Literature

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Univ. of Manitoba Press, 1993 - Literary Criticism - 199 pages
"Wild Mother Dancing" challenges the historical absence of the mother, who, as subject and character, has been repeatedly suppressed and edited out of the literary canon. In her search for sources for telling the new (or old, forbidden story) against a tradition of narrative absence, Brandt turns to Canadian fiction representing a varety of cultural traditions - Margaret Laurence, Daphne Marlatt, Jovette Marchessault, Joy Kogawa, Sky Lee - and a collection of oral interviews about childbirth told by Mennonite women. The results broaden, enrich, and finally recover the motherstory in ways that have revolutionary implications for our institutions and imaginations.
 

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Contents

Prologue in the First Person
3
The Absent Mother An Introduction
11
Margaret Laurences The Stone Angel and The Diviners
19
Daphne Marlatts Search for the Absent Mother in Language
45
Jovette Marchessaults Like a Child of the Earth Mother of the Grass and White Pebbles in the Dark Forests
75
Joy Kogawas Obasan and Sky Lees Disappearing Moon Cafe
109
Katherine Martens in Conversation with Seven Women
135
Coda
157
Notes
165
References
173
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About the author (1993)

Di Brandt was born in Winkler, Manitoba in 1952 and grew up in Reinland, a conservative Mennonite village in Southern Manitoba. She has earned degrees from the University of Manitoba and the University of Toronto. She has taught creative writing and English at the University of Winnipeg and is a former poetry editor of the journals Prairie Fire, Contemporary Verse 2, and HERizons. Brandt was awarded the Gerald H. Lampert award for Questions I Asked My Mother in 1987 and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award for Agnes in the Sky in 1991. She has also been nominated for the Governor General's Award for Poetry and the Commonwealth Poetry Prize.

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