"In language original in structure and rich in imagery, and with meticulous, far-reaching research, Skogan's unique vision reveals that the ancient, worldwide idea of Mary has penetrated, sometimes unwittingly, into every nook and cranny of Canada. This surprising book is one to be grateful for." —Sharon Butala"Chronicling the presence of the Virgin Mary in Canada, Joan Skogan finds that she saturates the country, from an image that came in with Jacques Cartier to the prayer object of B.C. fishermen. Her book is accessible, non-academic, ranges over geography and literature (Diane Schoemperlen, Margaret Atwood, Katherine Govier and other literary Madonnas) and is full of tender acts of mercy, gleanings from a millennium of history and brilliant flashes of insight, which taken together add up to sacred meaning." —Wayne Grady, The Globe and Mail
From the Publisher
From the Introduction by Kim Echlin
Joan Skogan makes a pilgrimage through our culture and history in this quest for the Virgin Mary in Canada. We may have been unaware of the virgins presence in our midst but Joan Skogan shows us how thoroughly Marys name is threaded through our geography and our stories. With an historians attention to research and a pilgrims receptivity, she finds our Canadian Virgin Mary in both unexpected and traditional places, gazing from a Renaissance painting at the Art Gallery of Ontario, waiting in a roadside shrine in Vegreville, Alberta, perched on the dashboard of a car that has run out of gas on a northern highway. Mary of Canada: The Virgin Mary in Canadian Culture, Spirituality, History and Geography is a work of non-fiction, but this book, like art, has the capacity to teach us to see anew what has always been before our eyes. We see how the Canadian Mary has lived among our ancestors, and embraces our current disillusion and aloneness and need for love, a need as urgent as our need for sleep or water. It is Joan Skogans particular genius that has also discovered in Mary of Canada a deep fondness for irony and a joyous laughter at the antic human spirit.