Where She Was Young

Feldbloom, Sarah
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University of Guelph

This thesis is a story cycle novel which explores the impact of youth culture on Canadian identity, critically examining contemporary notions of Canadian nationhood and culture. Each chapter follows a different millennial character in a defining moment of their emergence into adulthood, and illustrates how their development is shaped by the corner of Canada they inhabit as well as their individual experiences and history. The book consists of thirteen stories – one set in each province and territory. In the background of each chapter, through the eyes of every story’s resilient protagonist, we witness a character moving through the book – a writer and youth worker in her twenties, testing out different potential homes within Canada to find a place where she feels a sense of belonging. Through thirteen sets of eyes we watch her climb the arc of her coming of age. The book reads as a narrative map of Canada.

youth, canada, identity