Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

I continue to contemplate and consider Jane Rule’s novel The Young in Another One’s Arms. (Post note: Actual title is The Young in One Another’s Arms, but I leave the mix up because I like the sounds)  Right now I am struck by questions of whether or not the book could be seen as document of social history. Fiction rarely succeeds as social history it seems, and yet some work succeeds in an almost incidental manner.

The removal of the removed (displaced people) from the house, the tearing down of the house, which I’ve investigated and would correspond sources tell me to an initial period of gentrification in the early 1970’s in the neighbourhood of Kitsilano where the novel is set. The formation of alternative families, the quandary of draft dodgers where they went, how they lived, how they immersed into the city is all here in this novel.

I’ve been struck by the absence in BC fiction I’ve read, of certain, almost overwhelming aspects of where we live (labour, recessions, work, resource based industry, a turbulent labour history and so on) and at this time am busy trying to assess what is in the fiction in order to understand what did not breach the levees or the absence I allude to.

Another thing I contemplate as I read novels from the 1970’s period is the departure or starting point for the women in them. There are two extraordinary remarkings in Jane Rule’s novel that I must detail here on this point, but they’ll be detailed tomorrow in another post. They are simple, almost unremarkable in their mention and yet …. once you get to considering them, oh how they chime or rolling boil.  Manana, manana.

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