How Should I Read These? Native Women Writers in Canada

SKU: 080208401X

Helen Hoy
Grade Levels:
College, University
Multiple Nations
Book Type:
University of Toronto Press
Copyright Date:

Sale price$43.95


How Should I Read These? Native Women Writers in Canada is the recent contribution from scholar Helen Hoy that critiques prose literature written by women writers. Helen Hoy is an associate professor at the School of Literatures and Performance Studies in English, University of Guelph. This collection of critical essays contains previously published and new material. Hoy combines theoretical and textual analysis with a personal insight that draws on her interpersonal relationships with First Nations academics, students and friends. Many of her comments draw on her teaching experience at the university level. She draws on postcolonial, feminist, poststructuralist, and First Nations theory to explore the so-called problems of reading and teaching literary works by seven First Nations and Métis authors. The book begins with a chapter on the novel, Slash, by Okanagan writer Jeannette Armstrong. This essay approaches the work by reading the novel from the inside out. The issue of appropriation is explored in the chapter about The Book of Jessica, a collaboration of sorts from Métis writer Maria Campbell and playwright/actor Linda Griffiths. Other chapters explore the works of Ruby Slipperjack (Honour the Sun), Beatrice Culleton Mosionier (In Search of April Raintree), Beverly Hungry Wolf (The Ways of My Grandmothers), Lee Maracle, (Ravensong), and Eden Robinson (Traplines). The introduction provides the reader with personal details and background information about the writer, and her approach as a non-native academic when she teaches undergraduate English courses. The book has an excellent index and detailed reference notes. In the conclusion, Hoy confirms that First Nations and Métis women writers resist the narrow and confining labels of women and Native. When students question how to read the novels or short stories for understanding, Hoy responds by gently guiding the students back to the texts which themselves contain the direction for teaching and reading the works. Anyone teaching at the postsecondary level will find this text articulate and thought provoking. It is a much-needed analysis of the exemplary work produced by First Nations and Métis women writers in Canada.

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