I’m pleased to announce that my edition of L.M. Montgomery’s rediscovered final novel, The Blythes Are Quoted, will be published by Penguin Canada in 2009:
The Blythes Are Quoted
By L.M. Montgomery
Edited by Benjamin Lefebvre
With a foreword by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly
Toronto: Penguin Canada, forthcoming 1 October 2009
The never-before-published complete and unabridged last work of L.M. Montgomery
Adultery, illegitimacy, misogyny, revenge, murder, despair, bitterness, hatred, and death—usually not the first terms associated with L.M. Montgomery. But in The Blythes Are Quoted, completed shortly before her death and never before published in its entirety, Montgomery brought these topics to the forefront in what she intended to be the ninth volume in her bestselling series featuring the beloved heroine Anne. Divided into two sections, one set before and one after the Great War of 1914-1918, The Blythes Are Quoted contains fifteen short stories that include an adult Anne and her family. Between these short stories Montgomery inserted sketches featuring Anne and Gilbert Blythe discussing poems by Anne and their middle son, Walter, who dies as a soldier in the war. By blending together poetry, prose, and dialogue, Montgomery was experimenting with storytelling methods in ways she had never attempted before. The Blythes Are Quoted marks L.M. Montgomery’s final contribution to a body of work that continues to fascinate readers all over the world.
Last week I received copies of two new publications. The first is a new edition of L.M. Montgomery’s novel A Tangled Web (1931), published by Dundurn Press, for which I wrote a new introduction. The second is an article titled “Agency, Belonging, Citizenship: The ABCs of Nation-Building in Contemporary Canadian Texts for Adolescents,” published in the Autumn 2008 issue of Canadian Literature. It is an expansion of a paper I first gave at the International Symposium on Adolescent Literature at Ningbo University (China) in May 2007. Here is the abstract:
Abstract: This paper pinpoints the ways in which discourses of agency, belonging, and citizenship are staged in a handful of Canadian texts for adolescents published in the last twenty-five years: Beatrice Culleton’s April Raintree (1984), Marlene Nourbese Philip’s Harriet’s Daughter (1988), Deborah Ellis’s Parvana’s Journey (2002), Glen Huser’s Stitches (2003), and Martine Leavitt’s Heck Superhero (2004). These novels depict young people who are marginalized due to oppressive discourses such as racism, patriarchy, homophobia, poverty, and the dissolution of the nuclear family, and thus lack the support systems of the status quo. At the same time, they appear to broach larger questions about the construction of the Canadian nation alongside the story of a central protagonist’s growth from relative immaturity to relative maturity. Undercutting the dominant fantasy of a liberal and diverse nation-state, these narratives refuse to resolve or settle oppressive discourses that conflict with official policies of multiculturalism, keeping the ideal nation in sight but out of reach.
A digital copy of issue 31.4 of English Studies in Canada (December 2005), in which my article “Pigsties and Sunsets” appears, is finally available on the journal’s OJS site. The table of contents is available, or you can download the full text of the article.
I’m pleased to announce that my review of three new books related to Anne of Green Gables—Elizabeth Rollins Epperly’s Imagining Anne: The Island Scrapbooks of L.M. Montgomery, Budge Wilson’s Before Green Gables, and Irene Gammel’s Looking for Anne: How Lucy Maud Montgomery Dreamed Up a Literary Classic—appears in today’s The Globe and Mail on pages D1 and D9 of the Books section. The full text can be found on the Globe and Mail website as well as on this website.