From the Iron House: Imprisonment in First Nations Writing

From the Iron House: Imprisonment in First Nations Writing

English | April 16th, 2008 | ISBN: 1554580218 | 162 Pages | True PDF | 0.94 MB

In From the Iron House: Imprisonment in First Nations Writing, Deena Rymhs identifies continuities between the residential school and the prison, offering ways of reading "the carceral"-that is, the different ways that incarceration is constituted and articulated in contemporary Aboriginal literature.

Addressing the work of writers like Tomson Highway and Basil Johnston along with that of lesser-known authors writing in prison serials and underground publications, this book emphasizes the literary and political strategies these authors use to resist the containment of their institutions.

The first part of the book considers a diverse sample of writing from prison serials, prisoners' anthologies, and individual autobiographies, including Stolen Life by Rudy Wiebe and Yvonne Johnson, to show how these works serve as second hearings for their authors-an opportunity to respond to the law's authority over their personal and public identities while making a plea to a wider audience. The second part looks at residential school narratives and shows how the authors construct identities for themselves in ways that defy the institution's control. The interactions between these two bodies of writing-residential school accounts and prison narratives-invite recognition of the ways that guilt is colonially constructed and how these authors use their writing to distance themselves from that guilt.


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