Karen Press

The Canary's Songbook

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In The Canary's Songbook Karen Press explores the inescapable shaping power of personal and public histories in individual lives and political processes. The theme has deep roots in Press's native South Africa. The desire to find ancestors who can be invoked as sources of wisdom, or validations of unwisdom, is a central preoccupation of the poems, given force by Press's understanding of South Africa's continuing, painful dialogue with its own past. The Canary's Songbook affirms how universal such themes are, placing Africa on its own terms within a global culture whose attractions and corruptions touch all, and in which individuals struggle to make whole lives from the fragments they inherit.
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41 printed pages
Original publication
2011

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