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Double Diversity: Jewish Women Writers in Canada

Issue: Vol 33 No. 1 (2020)

Journal: Journal for the Academic Study of Religion

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/jasr.39524

Abstract:

This article is based on Our Canada: Jewish-Canadian Women Writers, a federally funded research project exploring the literary output of more than one hundred women authors in this country, together with the body of commentary on their work. Elucidating themes of immigration, tradition, identity, family, hope, and strengthening connections, the prose and poetry of these authors prods us to think about what Canada means and what these authors have contributed to our shared cultural imaginary. This literature serves to deepen our understanding of broadly diverse nations-both Jewish and Canadian. It is timely in terms of current reflection, examination and questioning of the multicultural paradigm that has shaped Canadian identity for over thirty years. Nothing is more challenging than grasping, or attempting to grasp, the mindset of others with radically different understandings and beliefs. Part of this challenge are the social and political implications of how particular individuals within particular communities have understood themselves and their place in the Canadian mosaic-often over generations. The contributions of Jewish women writers to Canadian literature respond to this challenge, beginning in the late nineteenth century in Montréal, developing in key centres across the country, and continuing in the twenty-first century.

Author: Catherine Caufield

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