Current Projects

Untying the Yellow Ribbon: Reading and Rereading L.M. Montgomery

This book offers a major reconsideration of L.M. Montgomery’s fiction, poetry, and life writing in light of the thematic surprises in her rediscovered final book, The Blythes Are Quoted, apparently delivered to her publishers the day of her death. It draws on a range of archival and ephemeral materials as well as on scholarship on early and interwar Canadian literature to offer new insights on Montgomery’s approach to domestic fiction and to modernism, her preoccupation with war, her ambivalence about feminism, patriarchy, and the romance plot, and her business practices as a shrewd professional author.

Young Canada: The Represented Child in Canadian Fiction in English

Based loosely on my doctoral dissertation, this book focuses on a range of Canadian print texts that feature child protagonists but target adult readers, published in the sixty-five-year period following the establishment of the Citizenship Act of 1946. These texts rework the trope of childhood innocence as a form of dramatic irony by highlighting the discrepancies between the stated rights and responsibilities encoded in the legal definitions of “Canadian citizen” and the relative powerlessness experienced by fictional characters aged twelve and under. As emerging citizens of the nation by virtue of their age, these characters offer a skewed perspective on the boundaries and taboos that surrounding adult characters have internalized as normative, for the benefit of readers who have left childhood behind. The authors whose work forms the basis of this study include André Alexis, Margaret Atwood, Morley Callaghan, David Chariandy, Emma Donoghue, Timothy Findley, Hiromi Goto, Tomson Highway, Joy Kogawa, Margaret Laurence, John Marlyn, W.O. Mitchell, Beatrice Culleton Mosionier, Alice Munro, Mordecai Richler, and Miriam Toews.