Divided Highways


Thisbook establishes the existence of a road trip genre in the literatures ofCanada. Geography describes the land, and history peoples it, just as memoriesconnect you to place. This is why road trips are such a feature of Anglophone,Québécois and Indigenous writing in Canada, allowing the travelers to claim, atleast symbolically, the land they cover.

Itis the intersection between history and geography that makes the trip sosignificant, and nourishes a sense of place, or reveals the lack of it. Examiningthe road trips undertaken therefore tells us much about the specific interestsof the three general groups at the centre of this study. Their desire, and, insome cases, obligation to travel, the traveling companions and destinationsthey choose, and the histories they create on the land they are covering areindicative of their particular sense of place and nationhood within thecountry.

Inorder to demonstrate this phenomenon, the book examines works by a variety ofAnglophone, Québécois and Indigenous writers, including Gilles Archambault,Jeannette Armstrong, Jill Frayne, Tomson Highway, Linda Hogan, Scott Gardiner,Claude Jasmin, Robert Kroetsch, Lee Maracle, Jacques Poulin, Aritha van Herkand Paul Villeneuve. A comparative approach to literatures in Canada is thelogical continuation of postcolonial studies in that it reveals the intricaciesand specificities of various communities, contributing to a more completeunderstanding of multiple national collectivities. It also offers an importantcounter-narrative to transnational studies.

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