Canadian Gothic

Literature, History, and the Spectre of Self-Invention

Cynthia Sugars

Cynthia Sugars

Distributed for University of Wales Press

291 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2014
Cloth $150.00 ISBN: 9780708327005 Published March 2014 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
In Canadian Gothic, Cynthia Sugars explores the origins and history of the Canadian gothic tradition, tracing the ways that the gothic genre has been reinvented for a specifically Canadian context. Sugars demonstrates how, from very early on, the Gothic has held a precarious position in Canadian literature. Canada had long been perceived as an empty terrain unhaunted by a historical tradition and incapable of inspiring ghosts or gothic tales. Sugars argues instead that many Canadian writers have created a distinctly Canadian Gothic, one expressed in a postcolonial context and found in early aboriginal and diasporic writings. Among the authors she discusses are Dionne Brand, David Chariandy, Wayson Choy, Hiromi Goto, Suzette Mayr, and Michael Ondaatje.
Yvette Nolan | Literary Review of Canada
“Accessible and engaging. . . . [Sugars] makes her arguments in clear, unambiguous language that invites the reader to truly consider her thesis. Canadian Gothic is a book that not only makes the reader think, but also can teach the reader how to think in possibly new and more inclusive ways about what will no doubt be an enduring issue of the twenty-first century in this country now called Canada: namely our separate and collective pasts.”
Jennifer Andrews, University of New Brunswick
“Cynthia Sugars’s Canadian Gothic is a groundbreaking study of the history of English-Canadian Gothic from its colonial beginnings to the present, offering a depth and breadth of analysis that is unprecedented and comprehensive in its scope. This is a vital contribution to the study of Canadian literature; its originality, elegance, and readability make it required reading for scholars and students of English-Canadian literature, indigenous studies, and literary theory. Sugars’s careful unpacking of the absent-presence of ghosts in English-Canadian literature of all genres is extremely persuasive and utterly brilliant.”
Contents
Acknowledgements
Introduction: Settled Unsettlement; or, Familiarizing the Uncanny
 
1   Here There Be Monsters: Wilderness Gothic and Psychic Projection
 
2   Haunted by a Lack of Ghosts: Gothic Absence and Settler Melancholy
 
3  French-Canadian Gothic: Excess as Emplacement
 
4   Local Familiars: Gothic Infusion and Settler Indigenization
 
5   Playing fort da with History: Settler Postcolonial Gothic
 
6   Strangers Within: Unsettling the Canadian Gothic
 
7   Indigenous Ghost-Dancing: At Home on Native Land
 
Conclusion: The Spectre of Self-Invention
 
Notes
Works Cited
Index
 
 
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