Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Producing Canadian Literature: Authors Speak on the Literary Marketplace

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Producing Canadian Literature: Authors Speak on the Literary Marketplace

Article excerpt

Kit Dobson and Smaro Kamboureli, Producing Canadian Literature: Authors Speak on the Literary Marketplace (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013), 268 pp. Paper. £24.99. ISBN 978-1-55458-355-3.

Producing Canadian Literature is a collection of interviews with a carefully chosen sample of writers seeking to shed light on the political economy of the Canadian literary marketplace. Although each of the inter views is different, the overall argument of this TransCanada Series book is that 'market-driven factors increasingly shape the publication, dissemination, and reception of Canadian writing' (p. ii). The authors skilfully tease out a convincing case through their questioning, although a more detailed introductory chapter or the inclusion of a concluding chapter discussing the inter views collectively could have strengthened this even further.

Focusing directly on writers (rather than on publishing houses or readers) allows the gathering of insightful and perceptive descriptions of how political economy affects writing, as well as how they see their position within its overall framework of power. The range of writers interviewed is impressive: there is young experimental poet Christian Bök; established novelist Jane Urquhart; First Nation writers Lee Maracle and Daniel Heath Justice; 'minority' writers Ashok Mathur and George Elliott Clarke; academics Larissa Lai, Aritha Van Herk and Stephen Henighan; and Erin Mouré. Issues covered include the impact of funding on writers; the effect of agents, editors and publishers when creating novels; the process of selling novels in Canada and abroad; and the effect of literar y awards on (subsequent) novels.

The biggest strengths (and the biggest weakness) of Producing Canadian Literature are related to its short, semi-structured interviewing style. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.