|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
Margaret Laurence: The Making of a Writer is a densely packed and wonderfully informative account of Laurence's early years... Xiques has brought to her research a resolve that "attention must be paid to every detail" within her power to uncover. Her meticulous method has ushered in a book that expands and satisfies our understanding of "The Making of a Writer" in ways and details that no other of the many Laurence scholars has achieved. We are in her debt.(Clara Thomas Books in Canada, November 2005)
Backed up with extensive research, Xiques creates a delightful portrait of a shy, vibrant and strong-minded woman destined to be a fine writer. She brilliantly elucidates the many influences in Laurence's apprenticeship, from family to friends, teachers to colleagues. The book also includes a previously unpublished story, "Mrs. Cathcart, In and Out of Purdah" and two lesser-known pieces, "A Fable--For the Whaling Fleets" and "A Queen in Thebes". The accompanying fiction rounds out the already admirable biography, a treat for fans of Margaret Laurence and of Canadian literature.
Xiques' meticulously researched biography, spanning the first 38 years of Laurence's life, has much to recommend it...
What makes this book a welcome addition to the biographical accounts that narrate Laurence's life and times is Xiques' focused attention on the writer's apprenticeship to the craft and art of writing itself. Very often she refutes Laurence's own accounts of her writing successes and disappointments by using archival evidence (often in the form of letters written by Laurence herself or by her colleagues and friends)...
Xiques provides a picture of a woman driven to write regardless of her circumstances and despite the sometimes overwhelming tension of being a writer, a mother and a wife, a woman who persevered for nearly 20 years before she felt comfortable calling herself a writer - a writer, moreover, who could rely on her literary talents for a certain livelihood. The portrait is, by turns, fascinating, daunting and ultimately inspiring.
Margaret Laurence: The Making of a Writer by Donez Xiques is highly recommended for public and school library collections that serve young adults.
Highly Recommended(Paulette Rothbauer CM Magazine, April 14th 2006)
Margaret Laurence: The Making of a Writer is an engaging narrative that contains new and important findings about Laurence's life and career. This biography reveals the challenges, successes, and failures of the long apprenticeship that preceded the publication of the The Stone Angel, Laurence's first commercially successful novel.
Donez Xiques demonstrates the importance of Margaret Laurence's early work as a journalist in her development as a writer and covers her return to Canada from Africa in the late 1950s. She details the significance of Laurence's "Vancouver years" as well as the challenges of her year in London prior to settling at Elm Cottage in Buckinghamshire, when Laurence stood on the verge of success.
The Margaret Laurence known to most people is a public figure of the 1960s and 1970s; matriarchal, matronly, and accomplished. The story of her early years in the harsh setting of the Canadian Prairies during the 1930s - years of drought and the Great Depression - and of her African years has never before been chronicled with the thoroughness and vividness that Xiques provides for the reader.
Appended to this powerful new biography is a short story by Margaret Laurence that has never before been published and two other stories that have not been widely available. They indicate the range of her concerns and show a marked departure from her fiction in The Tomorrow-Tamer and Other Stories and A Bird in the House.
Readers will benefit from the extensive research in this full and vibrant portrait of one of the most revered writers of twentieth-century Canadian literature.
Donez Xiques was born in Staten Island, New York, and received her Ph.D. from Fordham University. Her articles have appeared in many journals, including Canadian Literature and Canadian Notes and Queries. She has received Canadian Embassy Faculty Enrichment awards and a Fulbright Fellowship for research in Canada. She is Professor of English emerita at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Her hobbies include coastal kayaking and photography. She divides her time between her homes in Nova Scotia and New Jersey.