Caterina Edwards: Essays on Her Works


127 pages
ISBN 1-55071-114-8
DDC C818'.5409





Edited by Joseph Pivato
Reviewed by Carol A. Stos

Carol A. Stos is an assistant professor of Spanish Studies at Laurentian


The second volume in Guernica’s promising Writers Series, this
monograph includes four long essays, two short notes, and a revealing
dialogue between Edwards and Jacqueline Dumas. An excellent introduction
by the editor, Joseph Pivato, addresses issues central to Edwards’s
work: identity and the author’s preoccupation with “its
ramifications as a woman, as an immigrant, as a Canadian and as a
writer.” The essays that follow develop these issues on multiple

Elizabeth Sarlo-Hayes examines Edwards’s depiction of the condition
of Italian-Canadian women and explores the theme of female entrapment in
Edwards’s short stories. Italy and Canada, the “Old World” and the
“New” are integral and opposing components of Edwards’ writing:
Petra Fachinger’s essay focuses on the specific diametric of Edmonton
and Venice in the novel The Lion’s Mouth (1993), a work in which she
sees Edwards using elements of the gothic novel and the bildungsroman,
among other techniques, in order to study the construction of ethnic
identity. Marino Tuzi, in “The Social Construction of Subjectivity in
The Lion’s Mouth,” examines many of the same issues as Fachinger,
but from a different perspective. In “Cinderella Revisioned,” Frank
Caucci considers the application of this myth “divested of its
escapist axiology” in the works of Genni Gunn, Mary de Michele, and in
particular Caterina Edwards. (Notwithstanding the intriguing premise and
detailed analysis, Caucci’s argument is not entirely convincing.) The
notes by Verdicchio and De Luca reveal intriguing possibilities for
further studies, and the author’s conversation with Dumas touches on
many of the issues raised by the critics and suggests other rich avenues
of investigation.

The biography and bibliography of Edwards’s work and criticism,
features of this series, round off a most useful reference for any
student of Caterina Edwards’s writing. As these essays indicate,
Edwards is making a major contribution to Canadian literature.


“Caterina Edwards: Essays on Her Works,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024,