An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English. 3rd ed.

Description

578 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
$44.95
ISBN 0-19-542078-0
DDC C810.8'0897

Year

2005

Contributor

Edited by Daniel David Moses and Terry Goldie
Reviewed by Stephanie McKenzie

Stephanie McKenzie is a visiting assistant professor of English at Sir
Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is
the editor and co-publisher of However Blow the Winds: An Anthology of
Poetry and Song from Newfoundland & Labrado

Review

The third edition of An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in
English improves on earlier editions. Updated and extended biographical
notes preface selections rather than being housed at the back of the
book. The addition of theoretical notes on orature, which preface the
first grouping of texts (“Traditional Orature”), is a solid choice:
editors self-reflexively draw attention to the challenges posed when
attempting to represent orature in written form. The new preface,
together with the preface from the first edition, are important and
provocative frames.

Selections have been added and removed. The voice of Haida storyteller
Ghandl is a welcome addition, as is the inclusion of Joan Crate and
additional works by Marilyn Dumont. However, selections given for Maria
Campbell and Lee Maracle could be stronger. Both the first and second
editions included an excerpt from Campbell’s Halfbreed, a
trail-blazing work in Native Canadian literary history. Also missing are
selections from Maracle’s classic work, Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel.

In addition, I wonder why a selection has been taken from Beatrice
Mosionier’s April Raintree and not the original In Search of April
Raintree: the former was revised for a young reading audience and use in
the Manitoba school system, while the latter—uncensored—remains the
authoritative scholarly work.

It is interesting to see who has gained prominence in this anthology
since the first edition was published. Jeannette Armstrong’s
representation has grown, but Thomas King’s has not; the decision to
include only one King story is a questionable one.

While anthologists cannot include everything, I am still startled by
the omission of Chief Dan George. As well, if there is ever a fourth
edition, I would hope Moses and Goldie would consider the work of Nympha
Byrne and Marie Pokue.

Caveats aside, the latest edition of Anthology of Canadian Native
Literature in English does much to advance scholarship in the field.

Citation

“An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English. 3rd ed.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/15002.