Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Jane Rule’s novel becomes a great deal less interesting when everyone in it bundles off to live in Galiano Island.  Is it difficult to write about Island life without earnest reverence? Does everyone suddenly get made up once they hop off the ferry?

The book is drawing to a breezy & unfortunate end, that said what’s interesting about the book remains interesting. I continue to have exchanges on the questions that occurred to me and have discovered a few other folk equally curious. The novel (The Young in One Another’s Arms) has prompted me to consider the intersection between fiction and social history and also the intersection of housing, urban landscape (and its development) and literature.  One communication I had with a writer about the book described the prose as “informative” not “evocative” and I found this distinction/description dead on.

I’ve long been curious about this sense of Vancouver as a city being constantly “surrounded by”, dwarfed by mountains, the city as a city being looked at in the reflection of what’s around it rather than what’s in it. We do not live up trees, we do not live in the mountains. We live in the streets and bus seats and libraries and corner shops, laundry rooms, and queues for bureaucracy.

And so onward with the thinking. I will visit the archives and query my wonderings further there.

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