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Volume 33, Number 2 (2008)

Swept Under: Reading the Stories of Two Undervalued Maritime Writers

March 31, 2009


Amid growing interest in Canadian Maritime writing, Susan Kerslake's Middlewatch (1976) and Penumbra (1984) and Lesley Choyce's The Republic of Nothing (1994) have not received the critical acclaim or popular success they deserve. Three main factors have shaped the reception and reputation of these novels: they were published by small presses, which entails promotional limitations as identified by Danielle Fuller; their style and mode set these fictions outside the mainstream of popular readership; and each of them resists the signifying codes that define the Maritime region, codes linked to essentialism, as identified by Frank Davey and Ian McKay.