Sunday, September 19, 2010

Biographies of Canadian writers would hit the spot

...right now. Any recommendations?

Right now I'm reading Wider Boundaries of Daring: The Modernist Impulse in Canadian Women's Poetry. I'm only partway through the collection of essays, but already my eyes have been opened a fair bit wider and my jaw has dropped more than a few times. One thing I now know for sure: everything I thought I knew about the poetry scene in Canada needs serious rethinking.

12 comments:

IanL said...

oh, and to add to my suggestion I gave you on Twitter, I just read Half Lives of Pat Lowther by Christine Wisenthal. It's pretty good. And looking at my shelf of bios, I would recommend Jim Harrison's Off to the Side (though he's american - don't know if you just want Canadian suggestions - and it's autobiography/memoir), Out of This World, about Milton Acorn. I would go check the author's name (I forgot), but the cat is on my lap and it would be cruel to disturb him... Do let us know if you find any gems - I love good writer biographies!

Brenda Schmidt said...

Excellent! Thanks Ian!

Bernadette said...

I'm finding Wider Boundaries a challenge to read; it's hard for me to take it in, to process it, to rethink it all. Found I have a Livesay, Selected so I'm into it as well as a 1977 nonfiction, Right Hand Left Hand.

My favourite bio of all time is Rosemary Sullivan's, Shadow maker: The life of Gwendolyn MacEwen, a fantastic read! One of these days I'm going to pull Portrait of Emily Dickinson: The Poet and Her Prose, a 1967 bio by David Higgins off the stacks and have a read.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Bernadette!

And thanks again for the heads-up on Wider Boundaries. Right book at the right time.

Katrinka said...

I have to second Bernadette's suggestion of Shadow Maker. I also recently enjoyed Charlotte Gray's account of one of our great ladies, Nellie McClung, in the Extraordinary Canadians series.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Thanks Katrinka! That's new to me as well!

carin said...

I third 'Shadow Maker'... but I'm very intrigued by 'Wider Boundaries of Daring'. My 'Gotta Get' list just keeps getting longer.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Thanks Carin! A "Gotta Get" list - I like that! I know what you mean. It never seems to get any shorter.

Brian Busby said...

I'll side with the majority in recommending Rosemary Sullivan's Shadow Maker, adding her biography of Elizabeth Smart By Heart (which I prefer).

After those two? Fran├žois Richard's Gabriel Roy: A Life.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Great! Thanks Brian!

m said...

Kim Echlin's "Elizabeth Smart: A Fugue Essay on Women and Creativity"--amazing, amazing book.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Thanks M!