Magic Weapons

Magic Weapons

Aboriginal Writers Remaking Community After Residential School

Book - 2007
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Magic Weapons is the first major survey of Indigenous writings on the residential school system, and provides groundbreaking readings of life writings by Rita Joe (Mi’kmaq) and Anthony Apakark Thrasher (Inuit) as well as in-depth critical studies of better known life writings by Basil Johnston (Ojibway) and Tomson Highway (Cree). Magic Weapons examines the ways in which Indigenous survivors of residential school mobilize narrative in their struggles for personal and communal empowerment in the shadow of attempted cultural genocide.

The legacy of the residential school system ripples throughout Native Canada, its fingerprints on the domestic violence, poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide rates that continue to cripple many Native communities. Magic Weapons is the first major survey of Indigenous writings on the residential school system, and provides groundbreaking readings of life writings by Rita Joe (Mi’kmaq) and Anthony Apakark Thrasher (Inuit) as well as in-depth critical studies of better known life writings by Basil Johnston (Ojibway) and Tomson Highway (Cree). Magic Weapons examines the ways in which Indigenous survivors of residential school mobilize narrative in their struggles for personal and communal empowerment in the shadow of attempted cultural genocide. By treating Indigenous life-writings as carefully crafted aesthetic creations and interrogating their relationship to more overtly politicized historical discourses, Sam McKegney argues that Indigenous life-writings are culturally generative in ways that go beyond disclosure and recompense, re-envisioning what it means to live and write as Indigenous individuals in post-residential school Canada.



Book News
In the 1998 novel, Kiss of the Fur Queen, by Canadian First Nations writer Tomson Highway, the "magic weapons" with which the protagonists counter their abusive experiences in Canada's residential school system are classical piano and ballet. For Tomson himself and many other Canadian aboriginal survivors of the residential schools, McKegney (English, Mont Royal College, Canada) suggests, the written word becomes a "magic weapon." He conducts readings of the semi-autobiographical Kiss of the Fur Queen and more strictly autobiographical writings by others to explore how First Nation writers have confronted their pasts in the residential schools. Distributed in the US by Michigan State U. Press. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Winnipeg : University of Manitoba Press, 2007
ISBN: 9780887557026
Branch Call Number: 810.9897 MCK
Characteristics: xviii, 241 p. ;,23 cm.

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