Recipient of the Gabrielle Roy Prize 2001
Remnants of Nation: On Poverty Narratives by Women.
Toronto, U. of Toronto P, 2001.
In Remnants of Nation, Roxanne Rimstead delineates a new «exploratory» category of literary and cultural analysis, one whose generic expansiveness, cross-class authorship, and gender specificity foregrounds the «ideology of images of poverty» that circulates within Canada’s «bourgeois national imaginary.» The jury was impressed by the text’s comprehensiveness and range, its theoretical sophistication, and its political engagement with its subject matter. We also found especially admirable Dr. Rimstead’s sustained demonstration of how oppositional reading practices can transgress not only the canon of Canada‚s national literatures (and the gender and class aporia inscribed therein), but also «evolutionary histories of Canadian cultural studies,» whose own increasing flights from class analysis potentially mask a far greater abrogation of textual and material responsibility on the part of Canadian intellectuals. For this reason alone, Remnants of Nation will remain vital and salutary reading for many years to come.