Tostevin, Lola Lemire

Lola Lemire Tostevin, poet, novelist, essayist (b at Timmins, Ont 15 Jun 1937). The author of one novel and 5 books of poetry, she investigates in her work the relationship between language and female subjectivity. Tostevin is a bilingual writer whose first language is French. She explores in her poetic volumes Color of Her Speech (1982) and Double Standards (1985) the alien condition of writing in a second language whose acquisition is presented as a suppression of the "mothertongue": "je déparle / yes / I unspeak." This moment of unspeaking provides her with an opportunity to reconstitute herself as a speaking subject outside of dominant partriarchal language codes: "I am not a woman / I am speech. "

Gyno Text (1983), a series of poems about pregnancy and birthing, celebrates the female body as a source of creative power and strength and reflects her interest in emerging subjectivity. Language issues are also raised in Frog Moon (1994), a novel that follows its writer-protagonist from her childhood in northern Ontario to her married life in Toronto. Subject to Criticism (1995), a collection of essays, reviews, letters and interviews, Cartouches (1995), a book of poetry that includes poems on the death of her father, and Kaki (1997) are her most recent works. Her translation of Anne HÉBERT's Le Jour n'a d'égal que la nuit appeared in 1997.