Andrea McKenzie

Join Us for The Spirit of Canada (Leaskdale, 20–22 October 2017)

Please join us next month for The Spirit of Canada: Celebrating a Canadian Literary Patriot, L.M. Montgomery, to be held at Leaskdale Manse National Historic Site (home of L.M. Montgomery from 1911 to 1926) on 20–22 October 2017.

Keynote speakers include Elizabeth Rollins Epperly (“Capturing Canada: L.M. Montgomery’s Career of Creating Place”) and Benjamin Lefebvre (“The Upward Climb to Heights Sublime: Private and Public Narratives in L.M. Montgomery’s ‘The Alpine Path'”).

The program also features presentations by Ted Barris, Rita Bode, Lesley D. Clement, Melanie J. Fishbane, Andrea McKenzie, Jen Rubio, Kate Scarth, and Emily Woster.

For more information, including a detailed agenda and a registration form, please visit the website for the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario.

New L.M. Montgomery-Related Books This Spring

Today marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of L.M. Montgomery’s death, at her home in Toronto, at the age of sixty-seven. I have written before about the circumstances of her death and how it was written about in the form of obituaries and tributes (many of which are included in The L.M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 1), and so today, I wanted instead to draw your attention to four exciting new books that are set to be published in the next five weeks, each of which will add considerably to our understanding of Montgomery’s life, work, and legacy.

Maud, by Melanie J. FishbaneMaud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery is the debut novel of Toronto author Melanie J. Fishbane. This work of historical fiction tells the story of fourteen-year-old Maud Montgomery, who dreams of becoming a writer like her beloved Louisa May Alcott but who must contend with the narrow expectations of the adults in her family: her maternal grandparents in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, as well as her father and her stepmother in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Fishbane, who contributed a chapter to L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years, 1911–1942 (2015), has drawn judiciously from Montgomery’s published and unpublished writings as well as extensive fieldwork in both Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan to create her novel. She has presented several papers in Charlottetown and Leaskdale about Montgomery as a teen writer. This book will be published tomorrow by Penguin Teen Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada. For more about this author and this book, see Fishbane’s personal website.

L.M. Montgomery and War is a collection of essays edited and introduced by Andrea McKenzie (co-editor of a restored and annotated edition of Rilla of Ingleside) and Jane Ledwell (co-editor of the collection of essays Anne around the World: L.M. Montgomery and Her Classic). Emerging out of an international conference held at the University of Prince Edward Island in June 2014, the volume seeks to resituate Montgomery as a major war writer. It features original scholarship by Elizabeth Epperly, Susan Fisher, Maureen O. Gallagher, Irene Gammel, Sarah Glassford, Caroline E. Jones, Andrea McKenzie, E. Holly Pike, Laura M. Robinson, and Jonathan F. Vance. It will be published by McGill-Queen’s University Press early in May.

L.M. Montgomery’s Complete Journals: The Ontario Years, 1918–1921, edited by Jen Rubio, reproduces journal entries that Montgomery wrote between the ages of forty-three and forty-seven and follows on the heels of last year’s volume covering the years 1911 to 1917. Featuring an introduction by Elizabeth Epperly, this volume marks some major changes in Montgomery’s life, including the end of the Great War, a lawsuit against her exploitative first publisher, and the devastating loss of a relative whom she referred to as “my more than sister.” It will be published by Rock’s Mills Press in May.

Finally, at the end of May, Nimbus Publishing of Halifax will release After Many Years, a collection of twenty-one of Montgomery’s short stories selected and introduced by Carolyn Strom Collins and the late Christy Woster. These stories, which were originally published in North American periodicals between 1900 and 1939, were rediscovered by collectors only recently. My personal favourite of these stories is “Tomorrow Comes,” which anticipates both Little Elizabeth in Anne of Windy Poplars and Jane in Jane of Lantern Hill.

The publication of these four titles, particularly at a time when two sets of adaptations of Anne of Green Gables are airing worldwide, shows that interest in Montgomery’s work shows no signs of tapering off. Stay tuned in the coming months for a sneak preview of what’s due out this fall!

Deadline Reminder: L.M. Montgomery and Gender

11813420_827841780665153_7439460513974102297_n
Just a reminder that the deadline for proposals for L.M. Montgomery and Gender, the twelfth biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute and held at the University of Prince Edward Island on 23–26 June 2016, is coming up on 15 August 2015! See the full call for papers for details.

UPDATE: The deadline for proposals is now 31 August 2015!

Here’s the latest from the conference co-chairs, Andrea McKenzie and Laura Robinson:

Canada is fast approaching the centenary of women’s suffrage in the province of Manitoba (1916) and nationally (1918), so the twelfth biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island will re-consider the role of gender in L.M. Montgomery’s work, broadly defined: her fiction, poetry, life writing, letters, photographs, and scrapbooks, as well as the myriad adaptations and spinoffs in film, television, theatre, tourism, and social media.

The L.M. Montgomery Institute is delighted to announce the following keynote speakers:

11796307_827842590665072_6239910361343083073_n

Call for Proposals: L.M. Montgomery and Gender

Detail from Anne of Ingleside, by L.M. Montgomery (McClelland and Stewart, 1972)
Detail from Anne of Ingleside, by L.M. Montgomery (McClelland and Stewart, 1972)

Just a reminder that the deadline for proposals for L.M. Montgomery and Gender is 15 August 2015! This twelfth biennial conference, organized by Andrea McKenzie and Laura M. Robinson and hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute, will be held at the University of Prince Edward Island from 23 to 26 June 2016. It promises to be a dynamic, invigorating discussion of Montgomery’s life, work, and legacy, and we hope to see you there! Please see the call for papers for more details.

Four New Calls for Papers

I’m pleased to post four new calls for papers on L.M. Montgomery and her work. The first two were included in the program for the L.M. Montgomery and War conference, held this past weekend at the University of Prince Edward Island: a collection of essays entitled L.M. Montgomery and War, to be edited by Andrea McKenzie and Jane Ledwell, and a call for the 2016 conference, L.M. Montgomery and Gender, with Andrea McKenzie and Laura M. Robinson as conference co-chairs. The remaining two are for proposed panels for the NeMLA conference, to be held in Toronto in April 2015: L.M. Montgomery’s Ontario Years, 1911–42: A Changing World, to be chaired by Lesley D. Clement, and Beyond “Green Gables”: L.M. Montgomery’s Darker Side, to be chaired by Laura M. Robinson.

UPDATE: The dates of the L.M. Montgomery and Gender conference have been confirmed: 23–26 June 2016! Deadline for submissions is 15 August 2015.

L.M. Montgomery and War (Collection of Essays)

Edited by Andrea McKenzie and Jane Ledwell
Deadline for Papers: 15 August 2014

The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, a global conflict that would prove life-changing for L.M. Montgomery and millions of her contemporaries. We invite submissions of papers for a collection of essays that consider war in relation to L.M. Montgomery’s fiction, poetry, life writing, photographs, and scrapbooks, and the range of adaptations and spinoffs in the areas of film, television, theatre, tourism, and online
communities. McGill-Queen’s University Press has expressed interest in this collection.

Montgomery’s 1921 novel Rilla of Ingleside is one of the only contemporary accounts of Canadian women’s experience on the homefront during the First World War, but the War is evoked and implied in direct and indirect ways in many of the novels, short stories, and poems that precede and follow it. The Blythes Are Quoted, Montgomery’s final published work, bridges the years between the First World War and the Second World War, complicating Montgomery’s perspectives and thoughts about war and conflict. Montgomery’s work has met with a variety of responses world-wide during times of war and rebellion, from post-WWII Japan to today’s Middle Eastern countries. Different kinds of wars and rebellions also permeate her fiction and life writing—class conflicts, family disputes, gender and language wars—sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic. This essay collection seeks to take stock of the complex ways in which war in all its forms has influenced Montgomery’s works and their reception, both in Canada and around the world.

Possible topics include: the Great War anticipated, revisited, remembered, and re-imagined; the politics of gendered witnessing; Montgomery’s reception in times of war and conflict; chivalry, patriarchy, conflict, and romance in poetry and fiction; war as an agent of change; internal and external rebellion in relation to war; the psychology of war in battle and on the homefront.

Papers should clearly articulate the proposed paper’s argument and demonstrate familiarity with current scholarship about both Montgomery and the discipline or field in which you work. (For information about current and past scholarship about Montgomery, please see the website for L.M. Montgomery Online at http://lmmonline.org). Submit a paper of 5,000 to 6,000 words (including references), a biographical statement of 70 words, and a CV by 15 August 2014 to both Andrea McKenzie (acmcken@gmail.com) and Jane Ledwell (jandlwedll@gmail.com). Papers must be submitted in Word-compatible format and follow Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, superscript style, for references https://www.mqup.ca/style-guide-pages-99.php.

L.M. Montgomery and Gender (23–26 June 2016)

The L.M. Montgomery Institute’s Twelfth Biennial Conference
University of Prince Edward Island, 23–26 June 2016
Revised deadline: 31 August 2015

From Anne’s initial iconic and heartrending cry in Anne of Green Gables—“You don’t want me because I’m not a boy”—to the pressure on young men to join the war effort in Rilla of Ingleside, and from the houseful of supportive co-eds in Anne of the Island to the tyrannical grandmother in Jane of Lantern Hill, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s work highlights gender roles: how formative and deterministic they seem, and yet mutable they may be. Much Montgomery criticism of the past several decades has regarded her work from a feminist and gender studies perspective. Given that Canada is fast approaching the centenary of women’s suffrage in the province of Manitoba (1916) and nationally (1918), the twelfth biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island, which will take place 23–26 June 2016, invites proposals for papers that re-consider the role of gender in L.M. Montgomery’s work, broadly defined: her fiction, poetry, life writing, letters, photographs, and scrapbooks, as well as the myriad adaptations and spinoffs in film, television, theatre, tourism, and social media. To what degree do Montgomery’s works, or works inspired by her, challenge or re-entrench normative gender roles? Do her works envision new possibilities for girls and women, boys and men? Or, is our contemporary fascination with her world, in part, nostalgia for what people imagine to be the more clearly-defined gender roles of a bygone era?

Engaging the rich scholarship of the past, possible topics might examine the intersection of gender with:

  • Sexual identity, queerness, bachelor- and spinsterhood, and/or heterosexual romance;
  • Friendship of all kinds; relationships with personal and professional acquaintances;
  • Geographic, cultural, linguistic, racial, or ethnic identities, such as Scottishness;
  • Voting and politics; careers and/or education for women (or men); domesticity;
  • Levels of ability and mobility;
  • Childhood, particularly orphanhood;
  • Mental and/or physical illness, addiction, and/or failing health.

Please submit a proposal of 250–300 words, a CV that includes education, position, publications, and presentations, and a list of A/V requirements by 31 August 2015 by using our online form at the L.M. Montgomery Institute website at http://www.lmmontgomery.ca/. Abstracts should not only clearly articulate a strong argument but they should also situate that argument in the context of previous Montgomery scholarship. All proposals are blind reviewed. Any questions or requests for further information can be directed to the conference co-chairs: Dr. Andrea McKenzie (acmcken@gmail.com) and/or Dr. Laura Robinson (Laura.Robinson@rmc.ca).

L.M. Montgomery’s Ontario Years, 1911–42: A Changing World (April 2015)

L.M. Montgomery lived in Ontario from 1911 to 1942, writing fiction that confirmed her place, established by the early Anne novels, in not just Canadian letters but world literature. This session will explore familial, cultural, historical, and geographical influences on her writings during the period that Montgomery lived in Leaskdale, Norval, and Toronto and vacationed in Bala. Bookended by the First and Second World Wars, this period is characterized by changes such as redefined roles for women, increasing commercialization and commodification, and power struggles among those in the literary establishment to shape the canon. Please submit a 250–300-word abstract and short bio online at www.nemla.org. Deadline: 30 September 2014. For further information, contact Lesley Clement at lclement@lakeheadu.ca.

Beyond “Green Gables”: L.M. Montgomery’s Darker Side (April 2015)

A proposed panel for NeMLA 2015 in Toronto

L.M. Montgomery’s last work, The Blythes Are Quoted, and how it came into being, remains largely untouched. This collection of stories and vignettes emphasizes disillusionment and “despair” alongside hope; it is an experiment in form, but a continuation of earlier works in content. This panel seeks to explore the darker threads of Montgomery’s earlier writings, from dark humor and wit to tragedy, examining earlier iterations and themes that better illuminate how her final work came into being. Please submit a 250–300-word abstract and short bio online at www.nemla.org. Deadline: 30 September 2014. For further information, contact Laura M. Robinson at laura.robinson@rmc.ca.

Rilla in Paperback!

Rilla of Ingleside (Penguin Canada, 2011)I received my copies this week of the paperback version of the edition of L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside that I edited jointly with Andrea McKenzie and that was published in hardcover last October. The official street date is next Tuesday, 1 November 2011, but it’s already available for order at Amazon.ca and for purchase at bookstores. Order or buy your copy today!

Rilla of Ingleside—originally written as the final sequel to Anne of Green Gables—focuses on Rilla Blythe, the pretty and high-spirited youngest daughter of Anne Shirley. The novel paints a vivid and compelling picture of the women who battled to keep the home fires burning throughout the tumultuous years of the First World War. Using her own wartime experience, Montgomery recreates the laughter and grief, poignancy and suspense, struggles and courage of Canadian women at war. This special gift edition includes Montgomery’s complete, restored, and unabridged original text, as well as a thoughtful introduction from the editors, a detailed glossary, maps of Europe during the war, and war poems by L.M. Montgomery and her contemporary Virna Sheard.

“A tried-and-true wartime novel … Poignant, funny, sentimental, ironic, suspenseful, and heartbreaking.” —Toronto Star

“An essential purchase for all libraries, a wonderful read for adults and youth aged twelve and up, and a great resource for students of World War I. Highly recommended.” —CM Magazine

Visit the book’s official website and the book’s official Facebook page.

Announcement: A New, Restored Edition of Rilla of Ingleside

Rilla of Ingleside (Viking Canada, 2010)I’m pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of a new, restored edition of L.M. Montgomery’s First World War novel, Rilla of Ingleside, edited by Benjamin Lefebvre and Andrea McKenzie, which will be published on 26 October 2010 by Viking Canada.

First published in 1921, Rilla of Ingleside—originally written as the final sequel to Anne of Green Gables—is one of the only contemporary depictions in Canadian fiction of women on the home front during the First World War. Focusing on Rilla Blythe, the pretty and high-spirited youngest daughter of Anne Shirley, the novel paints a vivid and compelling picture of the women who battled to keep the home fires burning throughout those tumultuous years. Using her own wartime experience and imagination, Montgomery recreates the laughter and grief, poignancy and suspense, struggles and courage of Canadian women at war.

This special gift edition includes Montgomery’s complete, restored, and unabridged original text as well as a thoughtful introduction from the editors, a detailed glossary, maps of Europe during the war, and war poems by L.M. Montgomery and her contemporary Virna Sheard.

The publication of this edition of Rilla of Ingleside will coincide with the release in paperback of The Blythes Are Quoted by Penguin Canada.