By Annie Dillard

Right here, during this compelling meeting of writings, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Annie Dillard explores the realm of common proof and human meanings.

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In the last few pages, the young characters are shown to speculate about their individual futures, and it is striking that for the three McIntyre children selfhood is bound up with orientations toward the land: Tod plans to undertake a course in adventure tourism; Kirsten proposes to study agriculture as a pathway to a farming career; and Hamish imagines himself as an archaeologist. Tama plans his progress toward becoming Maori in relation to his recovery of family and his acquisition of traditional knowledge and language: “Back home to check my Mum’s okay, and the kids.

This act of invention is metonymic of Rain’s subject-formation, in that processes of self-fashioning incorporate hybrid textual elements. ” 60 Alongside these she places a photograph of Galen and herself seated in the bleachers at a powwow to which they were taken by Aunt Georgia. This sampling of images symbolizes a subjectivity formed across and between cultures; at the same time, Rain stakes a claim to agency in her own subject-formation. Just as the website is a project under construction, so Rain’s sense of self is incomplete and provisional, constituted by her experience of marginalization as much as by her negotiations with the signifiers and symbols of mainstream culture.

To close this chapter with Spud Sweetgrass is to gesture toward ambivalence and contradiction; for even as this novel seems to promote a celebratory view of Spud’s Aboriginal heritage, whiteness is taken for granted as the standard against which Aboriginality is defined, and Aboriginal identities are restricted to a limited range of representational modes. Toward the end of the novel, Spud learns that a heavy downpour of rain is needed to flush out the grease that has been dumped into the sewers of the city of Ottawa.

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