Road Narrative and Nationhood in Canada
Imprint: University of Ottawa Press
The road trip genre, well established in the literatures of Canada, is a natural outcome of the nation’s obsession with geography. Divided Highways examines road trip works by Anglophone, Québécois and Indigenous authors and these communities’ sense of place and nationhood. The road trip genre, well established in the literatures of Canada, is a natural outcome of the nation’s obsession with geography. Divided Highways examines road narratives by Anglo-Canadian, Québécois and Indigenous authors and the sense of place and nationhood in these communities. Geography describes the land, and history peoples it, just as memories connect us to place. This is why road trips are such a feature of writing in Canada, allowing the travelers to claim, at least symbolically, the terrain they have traversed.
Macfarlane examines works by a variety of writers from each of these communities, including Gilles Archambault, Jeannette Armstrong, Jill Frayne, Tomson Highway, Claude Jasmin, Robert Kroetsch, Jacques Poulin, Aritha van Herk and Paul Villeneuve, to name but a few.
Studying a diversity of road narratives from Anglo-Canadian, Québécois and Indigenous populations not only demonstrates the existence of a very specific road genre, but is also revelatory of very diverse and often conflicting perceptions of nationhood. It is these expressions of sovereignty that are integral to ongoing discussions of reconciliation and decolonization.
Published in English.