Celebrating International Women’s Day 2012 with highlights from Margaret Laurence: A Gift of Grace

Become familiar with the spiritual side of Margaret Laurence

Today is International Women’s Day! March 8, 2012: Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures. Over the past few days we’ve been sharing with you the books in our Women Who Rock Series, hoping to get you inspired for today and thinking about not only the women featured in the series, but women all over the world and especially the women who have touched your own life.

In 2006, Noelle Boughton wrote Margaret Laurence: A Gift of Grace: A Spiritual Biography. Boughton gives the reader a unique look at the life of the well-known Canadian writer. In her introduction, Boughton describes her connection to Laurence’s writing:

I discovered Margaret Laurence during a Canadian literature course at the University of Manitoba in 1975. It was International Women’s Year and The Diviners had just exploded onto the literary scene, solidifying Laurence’s position as Canada’s premier author. … I started reading with mild interest, but was soon electrified by each shock of recognition. Here were the fibres from my life—the ice-crusted mitts, nuisance grounds, and faded Jesus pictures hanging in the United Church basement. Here was Morag Gunn cracking open the constraints of relationship to reclaim her life just when many of us young women were struggling to define what that meant, let alone how to do it. Here, too, were the Métis and Scots of our prairie history. No one had laid bare our story like that before, and no writer ever rivaled her impact on me.

The theme of IWD this year is about making connections with young girls that will inspire their current and future lives. Here is a brief excerpt that shows the connections Laurence made through her position and influence:

Despite not having a formal position, Laurence continued to enjoy her connections with children and youth. … A notice from Toronto’s Children’s Book Centre in Laurence’s archived files said she frequently read and talk to local schools because she felt the children were hers. She also visited a range of high schools and universities. …It was a fascinating link that carried forward her legacy of her Neepawa, Winnipeg, and Vancouver mentors while also showing her sense of responsibility for the next generation.

For more information about Margaret Laurence: A Gift of Grace visit our site here.

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