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Cardinal Divide

Cardinal Divide

By Nina Newington

A father comes out to his daughter as a woman. Or at least, he was once a woman. It's complicated. Funny. Painful. Eventually joyful. Meanwhile the daughter, who was adopted, has her own identity issues. At the Aboriginal addictions treatment centre where she works, everyone assumes she is Indigenous. But is she? How can she find out? Cardinal Divide explores the hunger for certainty and the mutability of identity, whether of gender, race or sexuality. Authenticity isn't simple. Acting as somebody else is simultaneously a way to deceive and to explore the world. Characters who pass as male, as white, as straight, straddle the cardinal divides. And then, sometimes, passing is becoming.

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Guernica Editions (Essential Prose Series)

9781771834421

400 pages |

Regular price $16.00 USD
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By fusing the stories of Dreamcatcher Lodge and Ben’s story of arrival and change, the text breathes new life into narratives of settler/Indigenous encounters and histories. Ben’s story and sense of identity as non-binary is understood as Two-Spirit, which is a reframing of queerness through Indigenous epistemologies. The Cardinal Divide in the foothills of the Rockies serves as an evocative metaphor for the co-mingling of stories and histories.

Canadian Literature: A Quarterly Criticism and Review

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About the author

Nina Newington’s first novel, Where Bones Dance, won the Writers’ Guild of Alberta Georges Bugnet Award in 2008. A former Kennedy scholar with an MA from Cambridge, she makes her living designing gardens and building things. English by birth, she and her American wife immigrated to Canada in 2006. They raise sheep on unceded Mi’kmaw territory near the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia.