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Special Features Index  

 
Spotlight

Canadian Literature   

 
  Marie-Claire Blaise (b. 1939) was reticent about lesbianism in her early novels, but has since written works in which lesbian passion is at once lyrical, mystical, and liberating.  
 
 
 

Québécoise writer and editor Nicole Brossard (b. 1943) creates texts that are radical in their approach to gender, sexuality, and literary convention.

 
 
 
  Though Canadian Literature in English is often confused with or even indistinguishable from American literature, Canadian gay and lesbian writers have produced a vibrant body of fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry since the 1960s.  
 
 
  Timothy Findley (1930-2002) was an award-winning novelist and playwright whose works examine the nature of power and society and the struggle to understand and achieve what is right.  
 
 
  Katherine V. ForrestCanadian-born writer and editor Katherine V. Forrest (b. 1939) has played a major role in bringing lesbian fiction to the forefront of the mystery and science fiction genres.  
 
 
  Elsa Gidlow (1898-1986), known to many as the "poet-warrior," was unabashedly visible as an independent woman, a lesbian, a writer, and a bohemian-anarchist at a time when such visibility was both unusual and potentially dangerous.  
 
 
  Canadian-American poet Daryl Hine (b. 1936) has been a leader in giving serious homosexual poetry a place in the mainstream of American poetry.  
 
 
  Québécoise novelist Jovette Marchessault (b. 1938) risked her developing career in 1980 when she became the first Quebec novelist to unequivocally declare her lesbianism in print.  
 
 
  Peter McGehee (left) with partner Douglas WilsonAmerican-Canadian novelist Peter McGehee (1955-1991) is best remembered for his deft negotiation of the AIDS pandemic through the genre of screwball comedy.  
 
 
  Although gay and lesbian Québécois Literature has only a fifty-year history, it has flourished and seems destined to merge with mainstream Québécois literature.  
 
 
  Though Vancouver-based novelist and critic Jane Rule (b. 1931) addresses lesbian and gay issues directly, her work is deliberately non-political.  
 
 
  Sri Lankan-Canadian writer Shyam Selvadurai (b. 1965) has emerged as a significant figure in post-colonial and gay writing by virtue of the style, wit, and perspicacity of his three novels.  
 
 
  Montreal-born playwright and novelist Michel Tremblay (b. 1942) draws on his own Catholic working-class background in his presentation of bar culture characters and their relatives.  
 
 
  Photo Credits: Image of Katherine V. Forrest is a detail from a photograph by Angela Brinskele © Angela Brinskele. Photo of Peter McGehee (left) with partner Douglas Wilson courtesy Fiji Robinson.  
  
 
 

 
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