The Diviners. Hardcover – Jun 1974
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Perhaps the best known and most loved of all Margaret Laurence's novels, The Diviners was also her last novel and the final entry in her Manawaka sequence. Laurence, who saw The Diviners as her own fictional autobiography, tells the story of 48-year-old Morag Gunn as she struggles to finish another novel. As she works, she reminisces about her life. It's her story but it's also the story of the men and women who have fostered her, for good and bad: her parents, who died when she was five; her eccentric stepfather and his reclusive wife; her overbearing and repressive husband, who tried to smother her dreams to write; and the sensuous but unreliable Native lover who inspires her, with whom she bears a daughter and with whom she is never happy.
The Diviners is Laurence at her most inventive. She incorporates flashbacks, personal reminiscences, imaginary conversations, and philosophical meditations, shifting between narrative and digression to give readers a sense of Morag's thought processes. The novel also incorporates the themes that mattered most to Laurence: racial and gender equality, the validity of the Canadian literary experience, and the importance of artistic expression in society. The Diviners, which brought Laurence her second Governor General's Award in 1974, is a rich and striking novel, a fitting finale for Laurence's portrait of Manawaka. --Jeffrey Canton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'It's hard to think of a contemporary novel more moving and more triumphant than THE DIVINERS' SARA MAITLAND -- Sara Maitland --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I discovered Margaret Laurence while living in a log cabin in Canada at the height of my feminist awakening in the 1970's. Although steeped in far more radical authors such as Betty Friedan and Virginia Woolf, Laurence's Manawaka series touched me as no others, perhaps because I identified with each and every woman of her books. The startling part was that none of their lives looked anything like mine--not in the slightest. And yet I felt as if I were each character and came away with a bit more insight into myself. I loved the way she chose women who were unlike each other, but all of whom had contact with each other in some way. One was a main character in one book and a minor one in another book. One was a young girl, another a middle-aged woman, and yet another a dying elderly woman. One was the wealthy daughter of a town leader, the other the daughter of the garbage collector. And each woman learned something about herself and her life through the drama of the story. Laurence's solutions for each woman were far from simplistic, but each woman came to some resolution in her life. To read only one misses the eloquence of the series, the portrait of rural Manitoba and of people who inhabit the imaginary town of Manawaka. I wish that the series were published in one volume so that readers did not risk entering the characters from only one person's perpective. I have not read the books since the 1970's and yet hold them very dear. I am now inspired to reread them from the perspective of a 53-year-old.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Somehow it didn't grab me. I didn't finish it. I was disappointed . Maybe one day I will go back to it and give it another chance.Published on Jan. 30 2014 by Irene
An amazing read. The characters are so well developed that you feel the change in the characters as time progresses, and as they grow older. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2009 by S. El-Hilo
There are some spicy sex scenes, but it's hard to believe that this novel was called pornography when it was first published in 1974. Read morePublished on June 5 2004 by I ain't no porn writer
I've read this book twice and I enjoyed it even more the second time. The characters are complex and interesting and their lives take unexpected twists and turns, making the story... Read morePublished on May 17 2003 by Melanie
I've read this book twice and I enjoyed it even more the second time. The characters are complex and interesting and their lives take unexpected twists and turns, making the story... Read morePublished on April 2 2003 by Melanie
The Diviners is one book that I could not put down! The present and past are intermingled in a heart rending story of love, fear, confusion and the struggle to find ones identity. Read morePublished on Dec 3 2002 by Aoife Ruane
Well, this is a great book and you gotta read it to know why. I had to read it in the last year of high school, this year. It started off like a pretty boring book. Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2000 by Mo
This book remains, to me, as one of the top-five books ever written by a Canadian, and probably the most beautiful book written about the prairies. Read morePublished on June 11 2000 by J. Gifford
I'm a high school student in Canada who choose to read this book with the suggestion of my English teacher. I enjoyed the book and and all the different literary techniques used. Read morePublished on April 30 2000