Must Write: Edna Staebler’s Diaries

Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 2005年9月30日 - 301 頁

Long before she became the renowned author of the best-selling Schmecks cookbooks, an award-winning journalist for magazines such as Macleans, and a creative non-fiction mentor, Edna Staebler was a writer of a different sort. Staebler began serious diary writing at the age of sixteen and continued to write for over eighty years. Must Write: Edna Staebler’s Diaries draws from these diaries selections that map Staebler’s construction of herself as a writer and documents her frustrations and struggles, along with her desire to express herself, in writing. She felt she must write—that not to write was a “denial of life”—while at the same time she doubted the value of her scribblings.

Spanning much of the twentieth century—each decade is introduced by an overview of key events in the author’s life during that period—the diaries vividly illuminate both her intensely personal experiences and her broader social world. The volume also presents four key examples of Staebler’s public writing: her first published magazine article; her first award-winning publication; the opening chapter of her book Cape Breton Harbour; and her lively account of the Great Cookie War. Must Write: Edna Staebler’s Diaries portrays an ordinary woman’s struggle to write in the context of her lived experience. “All my life I have talked about writing and kept scribbling in my notebook, as if that makes me a writer,” wrote Staebler in 1986. This volume argues that the very act of writing the diaries, with all their contradictory accounts of writerly ambition, success, and conflict, made Staebler the writer she yearned to be.


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Life as Writing
Ednas Chronology
Family Lines
1 1920s Words to Express
2 1930s Longing to Make Something
3 1940s Must Write
4 Duellists of the Deep 1948
5 How to Live without Wars and Wedding Rings 1950
8 1970s Something to Write About
9 Cape Breton Harbour excerpt 1972
10 The Great Cookie War 1987
11 1980s The Business of Publishing
12 1990s Must Do
13 2000 Still Interested and Interesting

6 1950s Writing
7 1960s Must Work

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第 4 頁 - ... textually into the details of those experiences. But these are more than simply interesting stories; they also demonstrate the power of the personal to illuminate, and even interrogate, a variety of wider issues. As Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson write, since the 1970s women's autobiography has become "a privileged site for thinking about issues of writing at the intersection of feminist, postcolonial, and postmodern critical theories.
第 4 頁 - Kadar describes life writing as 'a genre of documents or fragments of documents written out of a life, or unabashedly out of a personal experience of a writer,' and includes 'narratives which tell a story in their own right, even though they may not be fiction

關於作者 (2005)

Edna Staebler who passed away in 2006 in her 101st year was an award-winning journalist and a regular contributor to Maclean's, Chatelaine, and many other magazines. She is the author of Cape Breton Harbour, Places I've Been and People I've Known and the Schmecks cookbook series. Must Write: Edna Staebler's Diaries, edited by Christl Verduyn, was published by Laurier Press in 2005.

Christl Verduyn teaches in the Department of English and Film Studies and is the coordinator of the Canadian Studies Program at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo. She publishes on Canadian and Québécois women’s writing, multiculturalism and minority writing, and life writing. She is the editor of Marian Engel’s Notebooks: “Ah, mon cahier, écoute...” (WLU Press, 1999).