The essays in Surplus at the Border examine the ways in which Mennonite writers have claimed their "territory" of literature within the contemporary writing culture.
Reimer looks closely at the novels of Rudy Wiebe, Armin Wiebe, and Sandra Birdsell, and the poetry of Patrick Friesen and Di Brandt, who represent the major canon of Mennonite writers. He also discusses the works of several other writers, such as John Weier, Lois Braun, Sarah Klassen, Audrey Poetker and Miriam Toews, that, often subversive to a dominant culture's literature, speaks for contemporary Mennonite society and how it is both separate and integrated into Canadian literature.
Reimer's essays examine how these authors write out of a distinct society and a particular world view, and yet are inflected with the experience and perspectives of a wider cultural experience. In looking at the novels, poems and stories of Mennonite writing today, and the ways in which they articulate their society, he emphasizes the literary tensions and rich complexity of contemporary Canadian writing.
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