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Left Hook: A Sideways Look at Canadian Writing

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In this collection of incisive, cogent essays, former Poet Laureate and Governor General's Award winner George Bowering explores the varied and often misunderstood landscape of Canadian literature and culture. Offering close readings of the works of a wide array of writers--Michael Ondaatje, Robert Kroetsch, Ethel Wilson, Milton Acorn, Daphne Marleatt, bpNichol and many mo In this collection of incisive, cogent essays, former Poet Laureate and Governor General's Award winner George Bowering explores the varied and often misunderstood landscape of Canadian literature and culture. Offering close readings of the works of a wide array of writers--Michael Ondaatje, Robert Kroetsch, Ethel Wilson, Milton Acorn, Daphne Marleatt, bpNichol and many more--Bowering considers what it means to be a Canadian writer, and a Canadian reader. Throughout, he considers the themes, preoccupations and hooks that abide in our national literature. And amid explorations of Sheila Watson's Double Hook and Margaret Atwood's sharp lines of poetry--"like a hook into an eye"--Bowering manages to land a few punches of his own. In Left Hook Bowering throws assumptions about national identity into the ring with modernism and postmodernism, regionalism and anti-centrism. Along the way he makes delightful digressions about his personal experiences--growing up in B.C.'s Okanagan Valley playing baseball and reading dime novels; his attraction/repulsion to American culture; discovering poetry as a young man; his first encounter with Al Purdy's teeth-staining homemade wine. Above all, he tells us--with infections enthusiasm--about the books and writers he loves. Always engaging, Bowering is the ultimate literary conversationalist--informed and intimate, intelligent and irreverent.


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In this collection of incisive, cogent essays, former Poet Laureate and Governor General's Award winner George Bowering explores the varied and often misunderstood landscape of Canadian literature and culture. Offering close readings of the works of a wide array of writers--Michael Ondaatje, Robert Kroetsch, Ethel Wilson, Milton Acorn, Daphne Marleatt, bpNichol and many mo In this collection of incisive, cogent essays, former Poet Laureate and Governor General's Award winner George Bowering explores the varied and often misunderstood landscape of Canadian literature and culture. Offering close readings of the works of a wide array of writers--Michael Ondaatje, Robert Kroetsch, Ethel Wilson, Milton Acorn, Daphne Marleatt, bpNichol and many more--Bowering considers what it means to be a Canadian writer, and a Canadian reader. Throughout, he considers the themes, preoccupations and hooks that abide in our national literature. And amid explorations of Sheila Watson's Double Hook and Margaret Atwood's sharp lines of poetry--"like a hook into an eye"--Bowering manages to land a few punches of his own. In Left Hook Bowering throws assumptions about national identity into the ring with modernism and postmodernism, regionalism and anti-centrism. Along the way he makes delightful digressions about his personal experiences--growing up in B.C.'s Okanagan Valley playing baseball and reading dime novels; his attraction/repulsion to American culture; discovering poetry as a young man; his first encounter with Al Purdy's teeth-staining homemade wine. Above all, he tells us--with infections enthusiasm--about the books and writers he loves. Always engaging, Bowering is the ultimate literary conversationalist--informed and intimate, intelligent and irreverent.

39 review for Left Hook: A Sideways Look at Canadian Writing

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dana Larose

    A collection of essays by one of Canada's former Poet Laureates. I enjoyed most of them, although there were a few that required more background in criticism than I possess. A collection of essays by one of Canada's former Poet Laureates. I enjoyed most of them, although there were a few that required more background in criticism than I possess.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brian

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    Jaynub

  5. 5 out of 5

    Blair

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bob Ivanochko

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    Levi

  8. 5 out of 5

    Poetry Train

  9. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julian Day

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rob Mclennan

  12. 5 out of 5

    J

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    Itisme

  14. 4 out of 5

    Diane

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    Faythe

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    Ken Norris

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alana Pipe

  18. 4 out of 5

    Isblue

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    Robert Pearson

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    Nico

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    Chad Kettner

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    Warren Dean Fulton

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    Cornelis

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

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    M

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    Rosemarie Boll

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    Jordan

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    Cheryl Andrews

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    Julian

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    Kyle

  31. 5 out of 5

    Raiveran Rabbit

  32. 5 out of 5

    Kay

  33. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

  34. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Keeler

  35. 5 out of 5

    Julian Hunter

  36. 5 out of 5

    Onyszczaks

  37. 5 out of 5

    Domenica

  38. 4 out of 5

    Maria

  39. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

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