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'Ode to Margaret Atwood' week at OPL: The Journals of Susanna Moodie

13/11/2013

Written in 1970, Atwood's book of poetry,The Journals of Susanna Moodie The Journals of Susanna Moodie, relates Moodie's experiences as a reluctant pioneer struggling in the Canadian wilderness from her arrival in 1832. Atwood was drawn to Moodie’s personality rather than her anecdotal work entitled Roughing It in the Bush, considered controversial at the time for supposedly shedding a negative light on living in Canada. On almost every English Literature class reading list, The Journals, actually in four parts, is considered an iconic piece as Atwood does an excellent job of adopting Moodie's voice and imagining how her identity would have been in crisis as an immigrant isolated in a new country. It has also become known as Atwood's finest work of poetry touching on many themes such as alienation, nature and civilization. These themes are apparent in much of the Canadian literature of the present as well. As Atwood says in the Afterword, “We are all immigrants to this place even if we were born here....” A work to be examined by all who call this country home.