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162 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 Paulette Collet=s Deux patries, deux exils on Marie Le Franc and L=hiver dans le roman canadien-français in the article on motifs in Quebec writing in French; Atwood=s Strange Things in the article on >North=; Denis Sampson=s Brian Moore: The Chameleon Novelist; Sheila Munro=s Lives of Mothers and Daughters; Solecki=s The Last Canadian Poet and Beyond Remembering on Pratt; and Shields=s Jane Austen biography. Benson and Conolly=s Oxford Companion to Canadian Theatre is omitted from the article on >Theatre History,= and Ronald Wright (shortlisted for the 1989 Trillium Award for Time among the Maya) is named as the winner of that award. Numbers seem to pose particular difficulty in this volume, too often unreliable in its details (correct information is indicated in parentheses): Laurence went to Africa in 1951 (1950); Davies died on 3 (2) December 1995; Klein=s The Rocking Chair was published in 1984 (1948); Klinck=s edition of Literary History of Canada appeared in 1956 (1965); MacLennan died on 9 (7) November 1990; Ricard=s biography of Roy was published in 1966 (1996); The Roaring Girl won the Governor-General=s Award in 1997 (1995); Škvorecký=s The Engineer of Human Souls appeared in 1977, 1983, and 1984 (1977 in Czech, 1984 in English); The Handmaid=s Tale in the >United States and Canadian Literature= article is said to have appeared in 1987 (1985); in Gerald Friesen=s >Chronology= we learn that St Laurent became prime minister in 1940 (1948), and that the first Quebec referendum was held in 1976 (1980). On balance, the reader of Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada can learn much. Such a reader will also wisely keep earlier and other such works close at hand, heeding the caution expressed here by Catherine Sheldrick Ross in her article on >Reference Guides to Canadian Writing=: >the information may not be complete or exactly in the form desired.= (JOHN J. O=CONNOR) George Elliott Clarke. Odysseys Home: Mapping African-Canadian Literature University of Toronto Press. xii, 492. $85.00, $35.00 Odysseys Home is an impressive tome that comprises an introduction, twelve essays under the subheading >Sorties,= eleven book reviews bearing the subheading >Incursions: Selected Reviews,= and several catalogues of resources in the form of bibliographic essays and bibliographies under the subheading >Surveys.= George Elliott Clarke defines his critical approach as essentialist, and is mindful of the critiques made against essentialism in favour of terms such as metissage and créolité. However, the wide range of strategies that Clarke adapts from various theorists and his reliance on history as a vital heuristic tool make me wonder whether the essentialist claim is just, whether, if any label were needed, empirical might not have been more accurate. humanities 163 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 Among its several functions, the introduction delineates how a more intricate analysis of African-Canadian literature might be done. It also links the essays, book reviews, and surveys inasmuch as they were published separately and were not initially written for inclusion in a single volume. The link is effected through Clarke=s implicit (and sometimes explicit) insistent weaving of literature and ontology. In the first three essays, Clarke undertakes to distinguish AfricanCanadian literature from its African-American counterpart, even while acknowledging the influences of the latter; and to deal with the language specifics of Africadian (Clarke=s neologism for Blacks living in Canada=s Atlantic provinces) literature. Perhaps there is some irony in the fact that the writer who best exemplifies the use of Black Nova Scotian English is Frederick Ward, an African American who grew up in Missouri. Literature as a site for contestation of identity is dealt with in the third essay but emerges forcefully in the essay >Liberalism and Its Discontents: Reading Black and White in Contemporary Québécois Texts= (an essay modelled on Toni Morrison=s essays in Playing in the Dark). On the one hand, >Liberalism= probes the unconscious figuration of Blackness in EuroQu ébécois literature (and psyche), and on the other, contestations of that figuration...


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