Into their re-imaginings of colonial North American myths, artists Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan have inserted women who question puritanical values of good and evil, right and wrong, and the sense of promise, space, resource, and opportunity that the so-called New World has traditionally implied. The eight short stories of this volume span the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, exploring the distinctly North American fictions that justice and equality exist, that infinite growth is feasible and desirable, and that anything is possible. Pirate queens, inventrixes, and sideshow performers stumble through tall tales usually reserved for Lone Rangers and Horatio Algers; plucky spinsters, religious zealots, deities and office workers challenge well-worn fables that continue to shape North America’s notion of itself and its dreams for the future. These rollicking yarns of personal survival are set amidst shifting frontiers of power and possibility.
Bedtime Stories for the Edge of the World
Millan and Dempsey are nothing if not progressive, and their most recent work is a fine example of their ability to portray the, unfortunately, sexist reality that continues to permeate women’s lives with a sense of humour.