Making Avonlea: L.M. Montgomery and Popular Culture
Published: August 2002© 2002
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 368 Pages
Dimensions: 6.03 x 8.99
368 Pages, 6.03 x 8.99 x 0.90 in
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Since the publication of Anne of Green Gables in 1908, L.M. Montgomery and the world of Anne have propelled themselves into a global cultural phenomenon, popular not only in Canada, but in places as diverse as Japan, the United States, and Iran. Making Avonlea, the first study to focus on Montgomery and her characters as popular cultural icons, brings together twenty-three scholars from around the world to examine Montgomery's work, its place in our imagination, and more specifically its myriad spin-offs including musicals, films, television series, t-shirts, dolls, and a tourist industry.
Invoking theories of popular culture, film, literature, drama, and tourism, the essayists probe the emotional attachment and loyalty of many generations of mostly female readers to Montgomery's books while similarly scrutinizing the fierce controversies that surround these books and their author's legacy in Canada. Twenty-five illustrations of theatre and film stills, artwork, and popular cultural artefacts, as well as snapshot pieces featuring personal reflections on Montgomery's novels, are interwoven with scholarly essays to provide a complete picture of the Montgomery cultural phenomenon. Mythopoetics, erotic romance, and visual imagination are subjects of discussion, as is the commercial success of various television series and movies, musicals, and plays based on the Anne books. Scholars are equally concerned with the challenges and disputes that surround the translation of Montgomery's work from print to screen as well as the growth of tourist sites and websites that have themselves moved Avonlea into new cultural landscapes. Making Avonlea allows the reader to travel to these sites and to consider Canada's most enduring literary figures and celebrity author in light of their status as international icons almost one hundred years after they first arrived on the scene.
'Making Avonlea: L.M. Montgomery and Popular Culture is an impressive book ... The significance and importance of its attempt to trace the impact of Anne of Green Gables on popular culture can neither be underestimated nor minimized, and its scope - from novel, to film, to television, to theatre - is extraordinary. The project Gammel has undertaken is ambitious, and the book lives up to its promise ... [It] is a text that will appeal to general readers, cultural studies critics, women's studies specialists, Canadian literature scholars, theorists of popular culture, among many others. Its potential audience is large, and its subject matter provocative, timely, and compelling.'Priscilla Walton, Department of English, Carleton University
'This is an outstanding book that breaks new ground in gender studies, popular culture studies, and children's literature. The collected essays focus on a fascinating range of topics, including Anne of Green Gable dolls, Anne clubs in Japan, Anne of Green Gables on the Internet, and Anne of Green Gables' house. Due to its unique focus on Anne of Green Gables and popular culture, anyone could find something of interest in this work. It is a ground-breaking book, one of the most important studies on Anne of Green Gables and L.M. Montgomery to be published in years.'Sherrie Inness, Department of English, Miami University, Ohio