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The Diviners. Hardcover – Jun 1974


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Hardcover, Jun 1974
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Alfred a Knopf; 1st Edition edition (June 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394491564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394491561
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 16.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,698,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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.

Review

It's hard to think of a contemporary novel more moving and more triumphant than THE DIVINERS Sara Maitland --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Sept. 7 2000
Format: Paperback
The Manawaka cycle consists of the following books: "A Bird in the House", "A Jest of God", "The Fire Dwellers" "Stone Angel", and "The Diviners". It is truly a portayal the cycle of life for women.
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.
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Margaret Laurence's novel, The Diviners, achieves a stark sense of reality through the use of tone and diction. Margaret Laurence draws from her own background to create the unique sense of style that is perceived when reading her novel. Through the use of her background information, her novel has the impression of being more real, something that one can relate too, much easier than of a novel of pure fiction. Tone and diction play a major role in any writer's novels, but is how they are used that makes the difference. In The Diviners, the tone and diction are satirical, which create the stark sense of reality needed to make this novel work as a whole. For instance, Morag, the main character, who also is a novelist, sets the tone of the novel, by instantly badgering at the way she cannot accurately describe the river, "its surface wrinkled by the breeze. Naturally, the river wasn't wrinkled or creased at all-wrong words, implying something unfluid like skin, something unenduring, prey to age," (4). Satire is chiefly implied by the way Morag immediately contradicts herself. Or though her use of diction, satire can be found in the way Morag depicts a close companion, Maudie, " A wonder she didn't sew by hand with needle, thread and tiny silver thimble. At night. By coal-oil lamp." (45). Morag appears to be mocking Maudie's way of getting things done. The diction in Morag's way of thinking is also satirical, "Women working like horses. Also pregnant most of the time. Baking bread in brick ovens, with a loaf in their own ovens. Looking after broods of chickens and kids. Terrible. Appalling." (77). Morag is reflecting upon the hardships of the women of the pioneer age and how hard their life was compared to hers, and if they could survive all that, then she too can survive.Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Margaret Laurence's novel, The Diviners, achieves a stark sense of reality through the use of tone and diction. Margaret Laurence draws from her own background to create the unique sense of style that is perceived when reading her novel. Through the use of her background information, her novel has the impression of being more real, something that one can relate too, much easier than of a novel of pure fiction. Tone and diction play a major role in any writer's novels, but is how they are used that makes the difference. In The Diviners, the tone and diction are satirical, which create the stark sense of reality needed to make this novel work as a whole. For instance, Morag, the main character, who also is a novelist, sets the tone of the novel, by instantly badgering at the way she cannot accurately describe the river, "its surface wrinkled by the breeze. Naturally, the river wasn't wrinkled or creased at all-wrong words, implying something unfluid like skin, something unenduring, prey to age," (4). Satire is chiefly implied by the way Morag immediately contradicts herself. Or though her use of diction, satire can be found in the way Morag depicts a close companion, Maudie, " A wonder she didn't sew by hand with needle, thread and tiny silver thimble. At night. By coal-oil lamp." (45). Morag appears to be mocking Maudie's way of getting things done. The diction in Morag's way of thinking is also satirical, "Women working like horses. Also pregnant most of the time. Baking bread in brick ovens, with a loaf in their own ovens. Looking after broods of chickens and kids. Terrible. Appalling." (77). Morag is reflecting upon the hardships of the women of the pioneer age and how hard their life was compared to hers, and if they could survive all that, then she too can survive.Read more ›
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