From Jane Austen to contemporary fanfiction and adaptations, literary portrayals of the child and imaginings of childhood are particularly telling indicators of cultural values and when they shift. Inspired by the responsive reading practices of L.M. Montgomery herself, those demonstrated by her characters, and those of her diverse readership, Children and Childhoods in L.M. Montgomery works with concepts of confluence, based on organic, non-linear readings of texts across time and space. Such readings reconsider views of childhood and children by challenging power hierarchies and inequities found in approaches that privilege more linear readings of literary influence. While acknowledging differences between childhood and adulthood, contributors emphasize kinship between child and adult as well as between past and present selves and use both scholarly approaches and creative reimagining to explore how the boundaries between different stages of life are blurred in Montgomery’s writing. Children and Childhoods in L.M. Montgomery addresses Montgomery’s challenges to prescribed assumptions about childhood while positioning her novels as essential texts in twenty-first-century literary, childhood, and youth studies. Contributors include Yoshiko Akamatsu (Notre Dame Seishin University), Balaka Basu (UNC Charlotte), Rita Bode (Trent University), Holly Cinnamon, Lesley D. Clement, Vappu Kannas, Heidi Lawrence (University of Glasgow), Kit Pearson, Rosalee Peppard Lockyer, E. Holly Pike, Laura Robinson (Acadia University), Kate Scarth (UPEI), Margaret Steffler (Trent University), William Thompson (MacEwan University), Bonnie Tulloch (UBC), Asa Warnqvist (Swedish Institute for Children’s Books)
About the Author
Rita Bode, professor of English literature at Trent University, is co-editor with Jean Mitchell of L.M. Montgomery and the Matter of Nature(s), and with Lesley D. Clement of L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years, 1911–1942. Lesley D. Clement is an independent scholar and co-editor of L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years, 1911–1942. She lives in Ottawa. E. Holly Pike, former associate professor of English at Memorial University of Newfoundland, is co-editor, with Laura M. Robinson, of L.M. Montgomery and Gender. She lives in Corner Brook, NF. Margaret Steffler is professor of English literature at Trent University.
“By presenting Montgomery’s fiction as conversing with past and present creative writers, contributors provide a helpful focal point within the broad framework of the collection, extending prior conceptual understandings of the cultural role of reading.” Irene Gammel, author of Looking for Anne: How Lucy Maud Montgomery Dreamed Up a Literary Classic