[sic] magazine - spring 2013 spring 2013 - Page 17

of ourselves, i.e. our sexuality, continuously sublimated. I would argue tha t that has significant impacts on, for instance, levels of violence against women. So that’s very much part of the drive of my writing Geographies of a Lover. EM: In its ca talogue, NeWest Press mentions other writers—Pauline Réage and Mar ion Engel—who have inspired you. Tell us more about their work. SdL: The Story of O is in m y mind one of the most foundational texts of a w oman contemplating women’s sexuality. It w as rendered as an anon ymous text for decades. It’s a mid 20th century book tha t looks at a woman who moves into a relationship—a rather sexually Marion Engel is pr obably one of Canada’ s most famous authors in ter ms of looking at a woman’s solo relationship to ph ysical geography in a r emarkably innovative way. Bear is a text that culminates with a woman having sexual r elationships with a bear . That was unheard of. It still is rather unheard of in wr iting by Canadian authors and I think as r esponsible Canadian feminist authors we have to lift our hats to the space that’s been carved in the literar y landscape by books like Bear and The Story of O. Another book that I really am in debt to as both a political force and as a text of sexual longing and sexual innovation is Elizabeth Smart’s By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept—another book considered scandalous for the politics and language that it used in the day. It’s a memoir, a narrative to a lover whose relationship to the author was never formalized. She bore two children by this man who she never married and who never lived permanently with her . Her personal politics r esounded in her text and allo wed new spaces for women’s voices to be presented. EM: Your day job as an academic is a demanding one. Do y ou find it a struggle to balance y our creative and academic work? SdL: No, I don’ t. There are the regular constraints of ha ving only 24 hours in a day and only seven days in a week, but I’m very broadly concerned with ameliorating social injustices. My work in all of its expressions is trying to push back against social inequalities. Broadly speaking, I write. I write in various disciplines and in various media but I write, and I try hard to write back against social injustices. We need to in this time of incr eased corporatization, increased neo-liberal agendas. We need to assemble all the possible voices and tools to produce a highly creative arsenal to push bac k against these powerful forces. [Geographies of a Lover is available violent and bondage-based relationship—with a man. To put it bluntly, there’s just no way that books like Fifty Shades of Grey could have possibly been written without The Story of O predating them. But it w as probably the most scandalous and one of the most hea vily censored books of all time. It’s interesting to me tha t the female author who wrote it wouldn’t or couldn’t have her name attached to it for a very long time. So it’s an homage if you will to the right of women to have our names associated with raw, sexual literature that NeWest press and I cite from NeWest Press for $14.95] works like Pauline Réage’s The Story of O. 16 [sic] spring 2013.indd 17 13-04-04 1:29 PM