chapter
Introduction
Pages 10

The wilderness assumes multiple images in these novels with their shifts from realistic conventions of landscape presentation into romance, fantasy and dream. In Bear it becomes the impossible space of female want, while in Obasan wandering through the wilderness is the painful preparation for a new future, and The Ivory Swingteeters on the borderland without ever venturing over into forbidden wilderness territory. Few writers examine the Bear, Obasan and the Ivory Swing. Marian Engel: Bear emerges as a feminized version of the Canadian wilderness myth, a quest for unity of being through loving connection between the human and the natural worlds. Joy Kogawa: Obasan is very much part of the late twentieth-century Canadian effort to revise and rewrite the official history of the nation. Janette Turner Hospital: The Ivory Swing, which might be described as flirtation with wilderness, has all the eclecticism of women's popular romance superimposing traditional elements of fairytale over features of the realistic travel narrative.