Klee Wyck

Klee Wyck, collection of literary sketches by Emily Carr (Toronto 1941). Klee Wyck - the Indian name given Carr, meaning "Laughing One" - is an evocative work that describes in arrestingly vivid detail the central influence on Carr of Northwest Coast Indian life.

Beaver Totem
Emily Carr, circa 1930, oil on canvas (courtesy NGC).

Klee Wyck, collection of literary sketches by Emily Carr (Toronto 1941). Klee Wyck - the Indian name given Carr, meaning "Laughing One" - is an evocative work that describes in arrestingly vivid detail the central influence on Carr of Northwest Coast Indian life.

Carr's clear, poetic prose summons up totems, abandoned villages, Indian character, broken-English dialogue and natural scenery without lapsing into nostalgic sentimentality, sociology or romance. Her writing inevitably invites comparison with her painting : Carr's gifts with words are of a different but not a lesser order; she achieves a remarkable purity of effect through her careful translation of images, perceived by a keenly sympathetic eye, into translucent language. Klee Wyck won a Governor General's Award for nonfiction (1941) and has been translated into French (Montréal, 1973).


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