Four Queer Black Canadian Women Writers You Should Be Reading for Black History Month

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Canada, Gay & Lesbian, Media Archive, Women on 2017-02-06 16:38Z by Steven

Four Queer Black Canadian Women Writers You Should Be Reading for Black History Month

Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian: A Queer Canadian Book Blog: News and Reviews of Queer Canadian Writers and Books

Casey Stepaniuk

It’s February, and that means it’s Black History Month! Check out these four queer Black Canadian women authors whose books you should definitely have on your shelves.

Suzette Mayr

I only recently read my first book by Calgary fiction writer and academic Suzette Mayr, who’s got mixed Afro-Caribbean and German background. Venous Hum is a satire set in Calgary full of wacky stuff like vegetarian vampires, extramarital affairs, and high school reunions, while the African-Canadian mixed race lesbian main character Lai Fun (named because her father loves the Chinese noodle of the same name) stumbles through her late thirties. It’s weird, and really funny. Mayr’s most recent novel is Monocerous, which has won and been nominated for lots of awards like the 2012 ReLit Award, the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Award, and more! It’s a tragicomic story about the aftermath of the suicide of a 17-year-old bullied gay boy and how his death affects everyone around him. Her previous novels are The Widows and Moon Honey—don’t you just love her unique, inventive book titles?—are about topics as diverse as three older women deciding to go over Niagara Falls in a bright orange space-age barrel and white lovers magically waking up Black. Hers is fiction to read if you are looking for a new take on magical realism and are bored of all the same-old, same-old tales about lesbian relationships. Her next book is due out later this year, and is called Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall

Read the entire article here.

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ENGL 3270.03: Contemporary Canadian Literature: Crossing the Line

Posted in Canada, Course Offerings, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2012-02-26 02:10Z by Steven

ENGL 3270.03: Contemporary Canadian Literature: Crossing the Line

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Summer 2007

Dr. C. Dawson

Our study of contemporary Canadian literature will be loosely divided into three sections, each organized around the idea of “crossing the line.” In the first section the line under consideration will be the border that defines this country. By way of example, our discussion of Tom King’s wonderfully funny story “Borders” might draw on his argument that the 49th parallel is a “figment of somebody else’s imagination.” Likewise, our readings of Fred Wah’s Diamond Grill and Wade Compton’s 49th Parallel Psalm might involve a consideration of the ways they each use the metaphor of border crossing to understand their mixed-race identities.

In the second part of the course we will study a number of stories and poems about characters who are seen to have “crossed a line” in the sense that they have acted in a way that is widely perceived to be transgressive or taboo. Here, for example, we might compare the representation of sexuality in texts as different as Miriam Toews’s A Complicated Kindness, a rock-infused Mennonite coming-of-age story, and Timothy Findley’s Not Wanted on the Voyage, a post-apocalyptic allegory set on Noah’s Ark.

In the final section, the line that is “crossed” has to do with genre. While building on our earlier discussions of race, nationality, and sexuality in contemporary Canadian literature, we will focus on works by Dionne Brand and Anne Carson, both of whom ostentatiously mix genres—poetry, fiction, autobiography, travelogue, opera!—with great effect.

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