(CAT 7)

Maria Löschnigg

The Contemporary Canadian Short Story in English

Continuity and Change

Since the 1960s and 70s, critics have repeatedly emphasized the importance of the short story in Canadian writing, referring to it as 'Canada's most versatile literary genre' or even as 'the heartbeat of Canadian literature'. The decision of the 2013 Nobel Committee to award the prize for literature to the Canadian Alice Munro does not only acknowledge one of the foremost practitioners of the genre, but also signals a renewed interest in the short story as a unique form of literary expression itself. Within this context of the vividness of contemporary short story writing - and its comparative neglect by literary criticism, this book investigates short fiction from Canada with a view to exploring thematic and structural issues as well as the socio-cultural context. The book brings together and updates critical work on the short story, thus providing a comprehensive cross-section of major developments of the past twenty-five years. It investigates cultural and narratological shifts within short fiction and offers exemplary close readings of representative works. While one chapter is entirely devoted to Alice Munro, the other seven chapters discuss writers and stories in the context of gender issues, regionality, global change, multi- and transculturality and the impact of Native writing on the Canadian literary scene. The extensive final chapter focuses exclusively on current trends within the short story cycle, a form which is of particular interest with regard to modern life stories and migration narratives. Through its focus on transitional moments in Canadian short story writing and its exploration of the genre's literary and cultural significance in Canada, this book touches upon central issues within Canadian Studies in a highly innovative manner.

Rezension (FICT 6 (2) pp. 239-245 Intellect Limited 2016)


ISBN 978-3-86821-526-7, kt., 390 S., 6 Abbildungen, € 42,50 (2014)

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