Leaving Shadows: Literature in English by Canada's Ukrainians
"On our way home, we stopped in Vegreville for one last look at the Pysanka-and, posing in front of it while my dad pulled out his camera, I wanted to cry. Are we doomed? Click. Is this all we are? Click. How do we drag ourselves out from under the shadow of the giant egg? Click." -from Leaving Shadows Are fourth-and fifth-generation Ukrainian Canadians doomed to be defined by giant monuments to hackneyed symbols and fossilized folklore? Conceived in a fervent desire for fresher, sexier images of Ukrainian culture in Canada, and concluding with a new reading of enduring cultural stereotypes, Leaving Shadows is the first Canadian book-length monograph on English Ukrainian writing. Whether struggling under the shadows of assimilation, disputing the tokens of "song and dance" multiculturalism or questioning their place in the proposed diaspora of post-national Canada, Ukrainian Canadian writers have shaped, and continue to challenge, the role of ethnic identity in Canadian culture. One part literary history, one part cultural study of ethnicity within the shifting discourses of Canadian nationhood, Leaving Shadows traces the unfolding tradition of English-language Ukrainian writing through substantive analysis of works by Maara Haas, Janice Kulyk Keefer, Myrna Kostash, Vera Lysenko, George Ryga, and Andrew Suknaski. [Front flap] "This immensely readable, astutely argued and indispensable book by a new writer and critic, Lisa Grekul, makes the overdue case for the importance within Canadian literature of the texts written in English by Canadian writers of Ukrainian origin. Their situation within both Slavic ethnicity and Canadian citizenship is very enticing, as Grekul demonstrates, from the very first Ukrainian Canadian novel, Yellow Boots, by Vera Lysenko, to the very latest fiction and creation nonfiction, of my and her generations. Grekul rereads this literature, provides it with a context beyond multiculturalism, and proves that identity resides in 'ongoing acts of imagination.'" -Myrna Kostash [Back flap] About the Author Originally from St. Paul, Alberta, Lisa Grekul lives in Kelowna and teaches Canadian literature in the Department of Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan. Balancing a talent for fiction and skill for scholarly inquiry, her published works investigate the role and place of fourth- and fifth-generation Ukrainians in Canada. Her first novel Kalyna's Song (2003) was shortlisted for the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada Best First Book Award.
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