|dc.description.abstract||AN OKANAGAN STORY: A NOVEL
Historian Mike Dunbar is at a crossroads in his career: it’s publish or perish. He chooses publish, his subject: Scottish Settlers in the Okanagan, British Columbia, a fertile valley in the shadows of the Cascades, known for the lake, bountiful orchards, trendy vineyards, and pioneers, specifically, JD Ballantyne. JD is either an enterprising settler or criminal arsonist; nobody seems to know which anymore. But then Mike gets an email from Haley Gibson, JD’s great-great-great-granddaughter. She’s just lost her mother, her connection to the past. Soon, the two find they have more in common than JD. As Haley gets stuck unravelling her complicated family history, and Mike gets closer to solving the mystery of JD, will the answers be the ones they’re looking for? And can their connection survive a breakup, family expectations, major life decisions, and the truth about JD Ballantyne’s life and misdeeds? An Okanagan Story is a novel about Canadian family folklore, dealing with grief, and the realities of just getting by in a sometimes hostile world.
WOMEN IN THE WOODS: A CRITICAL REFLECTION ON PIONEER WOMEN AND THEIR LEGACY IN CANADIAN LITERATURE
This project examines how the pioneering experiences recounted in Susanna Moodie’s Roughing It in the Bush and Susan Allison’s ‘Recollections of a Pioneer Woman’ contribute to the creation of the pioneer woman character, traditional stories about ‘Canadianness,’ and tropes that form a large part of ‘CanLit.’ The essay explores the ways both authors use the form of memoir, contemplating Sidonie Smith and Maggie Pickering’s writing on how memoir allows women to write about their experiences in male-dominated spaces and overcome barriers that restricted women in the 19th century. The essay also examines how Moodie and Allison become ‘literary foremothers’ to Canadian authors by examining Margaret Atwood’s The Journals of Susanna Moodie, a narrative poem sequence which reframes Moodie’s experience of pioneer life from Atwood’s 20th century urban Canadian perspective. Finally, the essay asks why the story of the pioneer woman continues to appear in ‘CanLit’ despite the loss of the rural backwoods, utilising Helen Thompson’s idea of a ‘shifting frontier.’||en