Dr. S. Leigh Matthews is a Lecturer in the department of English and Modern Languages, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia. She reads, researches and publishes mainly in the areas of Life Writing and Canadian Literature and has published a book titled Looking Back: Canadian Women´s Prairie Memoirs and Intersections of Culture, History, and Identity (University of Calgary Press, 2010).
Books by Leigh Matthews
Janet of Kootenay: Life, Love, and Laughter in an Arcady of the West
Evah McKowan´s novel, Janet of Kootenay: Life, Love, and Laughter in an Arcady of the West, provides a uniquely western Canadian perspective on many issues facing Canada at the start of the twentieth century, including the impact of World War One on the domestic front, the changing role of women in society, and the continuing process of land settlement. First published in 1919, Janet of Kootenay documents the efforts of Janet Kirk, a young and independent woman who moves from her own successful farm on the prairies to an eighty-acre parcel of land near Creston in the Kootenay region of British Columbia, to transform uncultivated land into a profitable enterprise while also finding her place within a small community in Canada´s westernmost province. Written as a series of letters to a friend, Janet of Kootenay provides an enthusiastic portrait of life in one small region of British Columbia at a time when very little was known about this truly "last best west." This new edition of McKowan´s novel includes a biographical and critical overview of her life and work in the Introduction, Explanatory Notes, early reviews of the first edition, select writings by McKowan, and a Works Cited and Consulted.