The winner of the 2017 Gabrielle Roy Prize (English section), which each year honours the best work of Canadian literary criticism written in English, is Violence Against Indigenous Women: Literature, Activism, Resistance by Allison Hargreaves (Wilfrid Laurier University Press).
Violence Against Indigenous Women is a compelling collection of timely essays and case studies on Indigenous women’s literature in Canada. Hargreaves’ introduction provides a detailed and insightful commentary on the issues surrounding the history and importance of resistance narratives. Although cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls have only recently received broad media attention, violence against Indigenous women is an ongoing crisis whose roots extend deep into Canada’s colonial past. Taking for her starting point the notion that literary representation matters deeply to the material history of violence and
resistance, Hargreaves demonstrates that literature and storytelling play essential roles in transmitting knowledge and anti-violence critique while working to effect social change. Violence Against Indigenous Women is carefully researched, sensitively argued, memorable, and deeply insightful.
The winner was chosen by a jury composed of Aritha van Herk (University of Calgary), Robert Lecker (McGill University), and Andrea Cabajsky (Université de Moncton). The prize was awarded at a reception held by the Association of Canadian and Quebec literatures on the evening of May 26th in Regina.
[The picture features Allison Hargreaves (centre), with Siobhan McMenemy (left) and Lisa Quinn (rigth) from Wilfrid Laurier University Press].