Where Are the Voices Coming from? Canadian Culture and the Legacies of History

Article excerpt

Coral Ann Howells (ed.), Where Are the Voices Coming From? Canadian Culture and the Legacies of History (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004), xxiii + 266pp. Cloth. £40.85 ([euro]60/US$81.00). ISBN 9-0420-1623-X.

This edited collection, whose title references Rudy Wiebe's short story 'Where Is the Voice Coming From?', is an important addition to Canadian Studies scholarship. It offers a detailed and comparative account of five major ideas in relation to Canadian history and culture: Stories of Wilderness and Settlement; History and Its Secrets: Criminality and Violence; Maritime Gothic; History and Dispossession: First Nations Writers; and Nomadism and History. These overarching frames are explored in parallel sections focusing on literature and film, a structure that allows for dialogue between and across sections. Indeed, these frames bleed into each other - for example, the gothic section necessarily references violence and lawlessness - but this works to the benefit rather than the detriment of the collection.

Coral Ann Howells and Peter Noble offer close analysis of texts by Alice Munro, Gabrielle Roy, Margaret Atwood, Anne Hébert, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Antonine Maillet, Bernard Assisniwi, Tomson Highway, Régine Robin and Anne Michaels. Tony Simons, David Hutchison and Scott Henderson analyse the following films: Maria Chapdelaine, The Sweet Hereafter, Jésus de Montréal, The Grey Fox, Margaret's Museum, Massabielle, Kanehsatake, Map of the Human Heart, Anne Trister and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. …