Menu Close

Blog

Early Canadian Literature Series: Forthcoming Titles by Parker and Harrison

Cover of /The Forest of Bourg-Marie/, by S. Frances Harrison

Wilfrid Laurier University Press released earlier this week their Spring–Summer 2014 catalogue, which includes the fourth and fifth books in the Early Canadian Literature series: Gilbert Parker’s The Seats of the Mighty, with an afterword by Andrea Cabajsky, and S. Frances Harrison’s The Forest of Bourg-Marie, with an afterword by Cynthia Sugars. These will be released later in 2014, after the publication of the first three books in the series, by Ralph Connor, George Copway, and Nellie L. McClung.

Amazon.ca Ranking: The L.M. Montgomery Reader 1

Decided to check Amazon.ca just now to see if copies of The L.M. Montgomery Reader 1 were in stock, only to make a startling discovery:

Of course, it’s actually #1 in Canadian History & Criticism, which is something else entirely. Still, it’s currently the top seller in three categories:

These Amazon.ca bestseller ranks are quite unpredictable, though. Just a few weeks ago I discovered that the book was ranked around 4,200 in the list of overall bestsellers, only for it to drop to 16,000th place a few hours later. And, of course, the fact that Amazon.ca received stock just today after taking pre-orders for the book for half a year accounts for this sudden spike. Still, this is a very pleasant surprise.

From Proofs to Book: The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 1

I was thrilled to receive, last Friday afternoon, a padded envelope containing my first author’s copy of my new book, The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 1: A Life in Print, published by University of Toronto Press. I’m always rather in awe of the transformation from a PDF of proofs to a physical book, and this time was no different. I’m enormously pleased with how it turned out, and I do look forward to hearing the reactions of those who read it.

Cover of /The L.M. Montgomery Reader/, Volume 1: /A Life in Print/ (hardcover)

What is especially gratifying, of course, is that it’s taken six years to reach the point where I could hold the book in my hands as a tangible object. Between August 2007 and July 2009, I held a postdoctoral fellowship (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, otherwise known as SSHRC) at the University of Alberta while living in my current hometown of Waterloo, Ontario (it’s a long story). My project was entitled “Branding a Life: The Case of L.M. Montgomery™” and my plan was to write a book-length study about Montgomery’s body of work, leading up to her final work, The Blythes Are Quoted, which at the time remained unpublished). Although I did a lot of researching and writing during those two years, I also spent a fair bit of time travelling to libraries and archives in order to track down Montgomery’s short stories, serials, poems, essays, and interviews, including a good number that are not listed in Lucy Maud Montgomery: A Preliminary Bibliography (1986). Initially my plan was to introduce all of this little-known material in the book, but then two things happened: first, Penguin Canada accepted The Blythes Are Quoted in March 2008, and second, I realized that I now had so many essays and interviews for a book of their own. Initially my plan was to put together a volume entitled How I Began: L.M. Montgomery’s Essays and Interviews 1910–1939. But then, somewhat inevitably, I kept finding material that I found just as fascinating—early scholarship, entries in reference works, profiles, and book reviews—and started to think of ways to place all this work in the context of Montgomery’s publishing history within her lifetime and in the seven decades since her death. And soon, the book-length study that I had originally planned got shelved, and the three-volume L.M. Montgomery Reader emerged. Like most big projects, this one has been several years in the making and it has evolved considerably as time went on, but I am very happy with the final shape of each of the three volumes.

Speaking of the three volumes, I’m pleased to announce that Volume 2: A Critical Heritage will be published in May 2014! And who knows? Maybe at some point I’ll be able to resume work on the book-length study that I had originally planned!

More on Textual Transformations

Benjamin Lefebvre at Campus Author Recognition, University of Guelph Library, 7 November 2013. Photo by K. Jane Burpee.

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!

CFP: L.M. Montgomery and War (26–29 June 2014)

The call for proposals for L.M. Montgomery and War, the eleventh biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute and held at the University of Prince Edward Island on 26–29 June 2014, has a new deadline of 15 August 2013! Please visit the new conference Facebook page for all the latest updates!

“And you will tell your children of the Idea we fought and died for—teach them it must be lived for as well as died for, else the price paid for it will have been given for nought.” — Rilla of Ingleside (1921)

“I am thankful now, Jem, that Walter did not come back … and if he had seen the futility of the sacrifice they made then mirrored in this ghastly holocaust …” — The Blythes Are Quoted (2009)

The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, a global conflict that would prove life-changing for L.M. Montgomery and millions of her contemporaries. For the eleventh biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island, we invite proposals for papers that consider war in relation to L.M. Montgomery’s fiction, poetry, life writing, photographs, and scrapbooks, and the range of adaptations and spinoffs in the areas of film, television, theatre, tourism, and online communities.

Montgomery’s 1921 novel Rilla of Ingleside is one of the only contemporary accounts of Canadian women’s experience on the homefront during the First World War, but the War is evoked and implied in direct and indirect ways in many of the novels, short stories, and poems that precede and follow it. The Blythes Are Quoted, Montgomery’s final published work, bridges the years between the First World War and the Second World War, complicating Montgomery’s perspectives and thoughts about war and conflict. Montgomery’s work has met with a variety of responses world-wide during times of war and rebellion, from post-WWII Japan to today’s Middle Eastern countries. Different kinds of wars and rebellions also permeate her fiction and life writing—class conflicts, family disputes, gender and language wars—sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic. This conference seeks to take stock of the complex ways in which war in all its forms has influenced Montgomery’s works and their reception, both in Canada and around the world.

Possible topics include: the Great War anticipated, revisited, remembered, and re-imagined; the politics of gendered witnessing; Montgomery’s reception in times of war and conflict; chivalry, patriarchy, conflict, and romance in poetry and fiction; war as an agent of change; internal and external rebellion in relation to war; the psychology of war in battle and on the homefront.

Proposals should clearly articulate the proposed paper’s argument and demonstrate familiarity with current scholarship in the field (please see http://lmmresearch.org/bibliography for an updated bibliography). For more information, please contact the conference co-chairs, Dr. Benjamin Lefebvre (ben@roomofbensown.net) and Dr. Andrea McKenzie (acmcken@gmail.com). Submit a proposal of 200–250 words, a biographical statement of 70 words, and a list of A/V requirements by 15 August 2013 by using our online form at the L.M. Montgomery Institute website at http://www.lmmontgomery.ca/. Proposals for workshops, exhibits, films, and performances are also welcomed. Since all proposals are vetted blind, they should include no identifying information.

Announcing the Early Canadian Literature Series

I am very pleased to announce the creation of the Early Canadian Literature series, to be published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press:

The Early Canadian Literature Series returns to print rare texts deserving restoration to the canon of Canadian texts in English. Including novels, periodical pieces, memoirs, and creative non-fiction, the series showcases texts by Indigenous peoples and immigrants from a range of ancestral, language, and religious origins. Each volume includes an afterword by a prominent scholar providing new interpretations for all readers.

I’m series editor, and the series is supported by an advisory board consisting of Andrea Cabajsky (Université de Moncton), Carole Gerson (Simon Fraser University), and Cynthia Sugars (University of Ottawa).

Cover of /Painted Fires/, by Nellie L. McClung
Cover of /The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation/, by George Copway

The first title in the series, Ralph Connor’s novel The Foreigner: A Tale of Saskatchewan (1909), with an afterword by Daniel Coleman (McMaster University), is scheduled for publication in December 2013. It will be followed by two more titles in early 2014: George Copway’s The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibway Nation (1850), with an afterword by Shelley Hulan (University of Waterloo), and Nellie L. McClung’s Painted Fires (1925), with an afterword by Cecily Devereux (University of Alberta).

Several more titles are in preparation, and we warmly welcome suggestions for future titles.