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category: Literary Criticism
published: Oct 2017
publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press

New Brunswick at the Crossroads

Literary Ferment and Social Change in the East

edited by Tony Tremblay

tagged: canadian, regional studies

What is the relationship between literature and the society in which it incubates? Are there common political, social, and economic factors that predominate during periods of heightened literary activity? New Brunswick at the Crossroads: Literary Ferment and Social Change in the East considers these questions and explores the relationships between periods of creative ferment in New Brunswick and the socio-cultural conditions of those times.

The province’s literature is ideally suited to such a study because of its bicultural character—in both English and French, periods of intense literary creativity occurred at different times and for different reasons. What emerges is a cultural geography in New Brunswick that has existed not in isolation from the rest of Canada but often at the creative forefront of imagined alternatives in identity and citizenship. At a time when cultural industries are threatened by forces that seek to negate difference and impose uniformity, New Brunswick at the Crossroads provides an understanding of the intersection of cultures and social economies, contributing to critical discussions about what constitutes “the creative” in Canadian society, especially in rural, non-central spaces like New Brunswick.

About the Author

Tony Tremblay is Professor of English at St. Thomas University. He is founding editor of the Journal of New Brunswick Studies/Revue d’études sur le Nouveau-Brunswick and the New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia. His recent work includes New Brunswick at the Crossroads: Literary Ferment and Social Change in the East (2017), the New Brunswick Literature Curriculum in English (2017), and The Fiddlehead Moment: Pioneering an Alternative Canadian Modernism in New Brunswick (2019).

Editorial Review

The result [of this book] is a magnificent, if necessarily episodic and partial, analysis of two of New Brunswick’s literatures, and I encourage the rest of the nation to peek at how the book’s blend of multidisciplinarity can be used for wider application. Even if a reader isn’t interested in reading another study of historical writers [...], there is much to recommend this book in terms of methodology.

— Shane Neilsen
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