Persephone's Sisters: Young Women Write


178 pages
ISBN 0-9685257-6-8
DDC C810.8'09287





Edited by Valerie Pawluk
Reviewed by Melanie Marttila

Melanie Marttila is a Sudbury-based freelance writer and writing


Persephone’s Sisters is an amazing collection of poetry and short
fiction by young women writers in Alberta. Editor Valerie Pawluk has
done something wonderful in bringing these words to a larger audience.

What is most striking about this anthology is its short fiction. The
words of the authors pull at the reader viscerally. Poignant stories of
rape, lost love, and prostitution are interspersed with stories of
rebellion, surrender, and familial love. Everything a woman remembers
puberty to be is in this collection, as well as many things she might
wish to forget. The poetry is also powerful; the drama of youth is in
these poems, but there is a terrible truth in them as well.

Pawluk has framed the collection with the Greek myth of Persephone. The
book is divided into five sections—Exploring Possibilities, Powerless,
Searching, Emerging, and Empowered—and each is prefaced with a piece
of the myth. This mythical thread ties the whole of the collection
together. Each young writer is her own version of Persephone, living her
own adventure.

Persephone’s Sisters is more than a collection of creative writing.
It could be a useful resource not only in English classes, but also in
philosophy, folklore, religious studies, or sociology classrooms. Highly


“Persephone's Sisters: Young Women Write,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,