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Writing herself in : mother fiction and the female Künstlerroman

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Mothers In Literature
  • Women Authors In Literature
  • Canadian Literature -- 20Th Century -- History And Criticism


This project examines the 'mother-writer problem' within contemporary Canadian fiction by women. Using three novels that tell the story of a mother who is also a writer, Margaret Laurence's The Diviners, Audrey Thomas' Intertidal Life and Carol Shields' Unless, I will outline the manner in which the roles of mother and writer are negotiated by the authors and their central characters. Further, I will investigate how creating a narrative about a female artist who is also a mother challenges and changes the structure and content of the standard female kunstlerroman. Finally, this thesis will attempt to determine how or if such challenges and changes improve the portrait-of-the-female-artist novel.

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