Aritha van Herk: Essays on Her Works
edited by Christal Verduyn
Essays on Her Works is the first book length study of her books, taking what editor Christl Verduyn calls, “a step towards addressing this lacuna in Canadian literary criticism.”
“People often ask ‘What do you do?’ I prefer to answer, ‘I write,’ instead of, ‘I am a writer.’ It seems very simple, but it’s quite a powerful distinction because being a writer, that person who occupies the body that writes, is very, very different from writing, which is uneasy, liminal, litigious, nervous, paranoid, ecstatic, and in many ways a completely conflicted, state. The act of writing engages with process in a way that ‘I’m a writer’ does not. In order to name yourself as a writer, you have to other yourself, you have to stand outside. It’s much more comfortable for me to say ‘I write’ because there’s room in that act for failure. ‘I’m a writer’ leaves no room for failure of any sort.”
From an interview with AvH.