In Canadian Gothic, Cynthia Sugars explores the origins and history of the Canadian gothic tradition, tracing the ways that the gothic genre has been reinvented for a specifically Canadian context. Sugars demonstrates how, from very early on, the Gothic has held a precarious position in Canadian literature. Canada had long been perceived as an empty terrain unhaunted by a historical tradition and incapable of inspiring ghosts or gothic tales. Sugars argues instead that many Canadian writers have created a distinctly Canadian Gothic, one expressed in a postcolonial context and found in early aboriginal and diasporic writings. Among the authors she discusses are Dionne Brand, David Chariandy, Wayson Choy, Hiromi Goto, Suzette Mayr, and Michael Ondaatje.
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Cynthia Sugars is professor of English at the University of Ottawa. She is coeditor of Unsettled Remains: Canadian Literature and the Postcolonial Gothic.Review:
“Accessible and engaging. . . . [Sugars] makes her arguments in clear, unambiguous language that invites the reader to truly consider her thesis. Canadian Gothic is a book that not only makes the reader think, but also can teach the reader how to think in possibly new and more inclusive ways about what will no doubt be an enduring issue of the twenty-first century in this country now called Canada: namely our separate and collective pasts.” (Yvette Nolan Literary Review of Canada)
“Cynthia Sugars’s Canadian Gothic is a groundbreaking study of the history of English-Canadian Gothic from its colonial beginnings to the present, offering a depth and breadth of analysis that is unprecedented and comprehensive in its scope. This is a vital contribution to the study of Canadian literature; its originality, elegance, and readability make it required reading for scholars and students of English-Canadian literature, indigenous studies, and literary theory. Sugars’s careful unpacking of the absent-presence of ghosts in English-Canadian literature of all genres is extremely persuasive and utterly brilliant.” (Jennifer Andrews, University of New Brunswick)
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