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Then Now

  • Pocket

  • 2021

  • Engelsk

A lyrical exploration of memory, family, catastrophe, immigration, and colonialism, Then Now was inspired by the discovery of letters written by Daphne Marlatt’s father, Arthur Buckle, who left England in the early 1930s to join a British accounting firm in multiracial Penang, Malaysia. He continued living and working there until taking leave in 1941, returning after WW II, whose looming threat striates his early letters, and staying until 1951. Decades after the letters’ composition, Marlatt began writing poems in response to them, interwoven with memories they provoked from her post-war childhood there. These poems are written from a sense of place and home on Canada’s West Coast now on the brink of another catastrophe, global climate change, so that throughout the book, “There Then” permeates any “Here Now” of immigrant consciousness and highlights the impermanent quality of “home.”

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