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ISBN 0226469352 / 9780226469355 / 0-226-46935-2Find This Book
Perhaps the best known and most loved of all Margaret Laurence's novels, The Diviners was also her last novel and the final entry in her Manawaka sequence. Laurence, who saw The Diviners as her own fictional autobiography, tells the story of 48-year-old Morag Gunn as she struggles to finish another novel. As she works, she reminisces about her life. It's her story but it's also the story of the men and women who have fostered her, for good and bad: her parents, who died when she was five; her eccentric stepfather and his reclusive wife; her overbearing and repressive husband, who tried to smother her dreams to write; and the sensuous but unreliable Native lover who inspires her, with whom she bears a daughter and with whom she is never happy.
The Diviners is Laurence at her most inventive. She incorporates flashbacks, personal reminiscences, imaginary conversations, and philosophical meditations, shifting between narrative and digression to give readers a sense of Morag's thought processes. The novel also incorporates the themes that mattered most to Laurence: racial and gender equality, the validity of the Canadian literary experience, and the importance of artistic expression in society. The Diviners, which brought Laurence her second Governor General's Award in 1974, is a rich and striking novel, a fitting finale for Laurence's portrait of Manawaka. --Jeffrey Canton [via]