Quebec Studies

Book Reviews: Literature and Criticism

Quebec Studies (1985), 3, (1), 211–225.


Book Reviews: Literature and Criticism LEWIS, PAULA GILBERT. Traditionalism, Nationalism, and Feminism: Women Writers of Quebec. (Contributions in Women's Studies, No. 53.) Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1985. $35.00. This collection of essays about Québec women writers is the only one of its kind available in French or English. As a result, although the world is discovering the existence of Québec, its writers are, on the whole, not well-known in Englishspeaking Canada or the United States. Paula Gilbert Lewis has capitalized on the recent and growing interest in Québec and in feminism. The articles in her book serve as an excellent introduction into the richness of Québec literature by women. The English-speaking reader will be particularly pleased to find that the authors of the articles have provided translations of the passages they cite. The specialist can also benefit from reading the well-written and informative articles in this collection. The section on traditional texts begins, fittingly, with an article on Laure Conan's Angéline de Montbrun. François Gallays's study provides an interesting psychoanalytic interpretation of this story of a father-daughter relationship. Paula Gilbert Lewis's article on the early short stories of Gabrielle Roy is a study of complex female protagonists who are both traditionalists and feminists. In James J. Herlan's article on the radio serial based on Germaine Guèvremont's Le Survenant, women's and men's roles are studied against the political and social backdrop of the Duplessis era. The poetry of Rina Lasnier and Anne Hébert is the subject of the next two articles in this section. James P. Gilroy perceives that while Rina Lasnier follows in the tradition of the French Symbolist poets, her work is informed by a peculiarly québécoise inspiration. In her essay, Susan L. Rosenstreich discusses the power of the female poet to create a new world rather than simply describe

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