Coyote Country: Fictions of the Canadian West
For most North Americans—Canadians as well as Americans—the term "Western" evokes images of the frontier, brave sheriffs and ruthless outlaws, good cowboys and bad Indians. As Arnold E. Davidson shows in this groundbreaking study, a number of Canada's most interesting and experimental Western writers parody, reverse, or otherwise defuse the paraphernalia of the classic U.S. Western. Lacking both a real and imagined frontier—Canadian settlers rode trains into the new territory, already policed by Mounties—the writers of Canadian Westerns were set a different task from their American counterparts and were subsequently freed to create some of the most complex and engrossing fiction yet produced in Canada.
Davidson details the evolution of the U.S. and Canadian Western forms, tracing the divergence between the two as Canadian writers responded to their unique historical circumstances by reinventing the West as well as the Western and establishing a new literary landscape where author and reader could work out new possibilities of being. Surveying a range of texts by Canada's most innovative writers, with special attention to women writers and Native stories of Coyote, he provides close readings of novels by Howard O'Hagan, Sheila Watson, Robert Kroetsch, Aritha van Herk, Anne Cameron, Peter Such, W. O. Mitchell, Beatrice Culleton, and Thomas King. A unique study, Coyote Country offers at one and the same time a theory of Canadian Western fiction, a history of crosscultural paradigms of the West as manifested in novels, and an intensive reading of some of Canada's best literature.
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Reinventing the West
Untelling Tay John
Coyote at Dog Creek
The Archaeology of Badlands
Smile When You Call Me That She Said Cuttingly
The Gynocentric Journey
Epic and Extinction
Lessons on Perspective
Epilogue The One About The One About Coyote
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Alberta American Western Archie Aritha van Herk Badlands beginning Beothuk Canadian Fiction Canadian Literature Canadian West Canadian Western castration Cheryl claims conjoined Contact Prints context cowboy Coyote Coyote's Cree culture daughter Dawe's dead death Denham Dick Harrison discourse Double Hook earlier early epigraph episode example father female feminist figure final frontier gender girl hero Ibid Indian James James's John's journey Judith killed Kumkleseem land literary male McClelland and Stewart metafictional moreover mother myth mythic narrative narrator notes novel O'Hagan's observes original parenthetically parody particularly partly perspective photographs pigs portrayed prairie Press protagonist quest question rape reader reading river Riverrun Robert Kroetsch Rudy Wiebe sexual Sheila Watson Sinclair story Subsequent references suggests symbolic tale Tay John tell Tent Peg thereby Toronto traditional trickster Uncle Andrew Univ victory voice Western Canada Wiebe wilderness women writing