I’m pleased to report that I received my first author’s copy, a few days ago, of my seventh book, The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 3: A Legacy in Review, published by University of Toronto Press. The book contains the full text of 370 reviews, from periodicals in eight countries, of Montgomery’s twenty-four books published throughout her lifetime, as well a comprehensive discussion of how these reviews fit within the larger context of the ways her books were marketed to readers during the first half of the twentieth century, as well as a comprehensive account of the reception of twenty-four additional Montgomery books published posthumously between 1960 and 2013. Since late November, I’ve been posting snippets of these reviews, as well as scans of ads that don’t appear in the book, on the L.M. Montgomery Online website.
I’m so happy with how this final volume, like the two that preceded it, turned out, and although it’s rather bittersweet for such a big project to come to an end finally after several years of work, it also gives me a chance to ponder what it is I’d like to work on next.
I’ve been meaning to mention that my collection of essays Textual Transformations in Children’s Literature has received a number of great reviews since it was published about a year ago—in journals such as Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Choice, International Research in Children’s Literature, and Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures. The book was also included at the 2013 Campus Author Recognition event at the University of Guelph Library, which I attended a month ago as an alumnus of the University of Guelph (I did my M.A. in English there over a dozen years ago). This annual event is open to authors, editors, and translators who have or have had some affiliation with the university. Here’s a photo of me—and the book!
“Lucy Maud of Macneill Farm,” my review of The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery: The PEI Years, 1889–1900, edited by Mary Henley Rubio and Elizabeth Hillman Waterston, appears in today’s issue of The Globe and Mail.
This book offers new critical approaches for the study of adaptations, abridgments, translations, parodies, and mash-ups that occur internationally in contemporary children’s culture. It follows recent shifts in adaptation studies that call for a move beyond fidelity criticism, a paradigm that measures the success of an adaptation by the level of fidelity to the “original” text, toward a methodology that considers the adaptation to be always already in conversation with the adapted text. This book visits children’s literature and culture in order to consider the generic, pedagogical, and ideological underpinnings that drive both the process and the product. Focusing on novels as well as folktales, films, graphic novels, and anime, the authors consider the challenges inherent in transforming the work of authors such as William Shakespeare, Charles Perrault, L.M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and A.A. Milne into new forms that are palatable for later audiences particularly when—for perceived ideological or political reasons—the textual transformation is not only unavoidable but entirely necessary. Contributors consider the challenges inherent in transforming stories and characters from one type of text to another, across genres, languages, and time, offering a range of new models that will inform future scholarship.
This essay brings to the forefront the work by Joy Kogawa that preceded and followed her watershed novel Obasan (1981), which privileges the perspective of a traumatized child to narrate the internment of Japanese Canadians during and after the Second World War. The objective of the essay is to address an overlooked pattern of repetition and revision that can be traced across these multiple texts – a sequel, Itsuka / Emily Kato; a revision for children, Naomi’s Road; and a thematic follow-up, The Rain Ascends – all of which were revisited by Kogawa after their initial publication. Drawing on pivotal work on trauma and memory, the essay considers to what extent Kogawa’s larger story of oppression, dispersal, and forgetting is unconcludable.
Voix plurielles, the journal of the Association des professeur-e-s de français des universités et collèges canadiens, now has a new website through OJS! My article “L’abandon du Grand Récit : réflexion sur la révision de l’identité québécoise dans le dernier tome du roman Les Filles de Caleb,” published in the journal’s May 2006 issue, is now available to download as a PDF.