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Criticism

  • "In Time Travels Light, Major explores the nature of time and memory, and examines the various transformations that occur in the lives of individuals and families with humour, feeling and depth. Her images are precise and memorable."
    Calgary Herald, 1993

  • "With deceptive simplicity, Major aligns herself with the elements. She manages to call up electromagnetism, Fibonacci numbers, relativity and entangle them in our day to day world, recasting much of ordinary experience at a mythological level."
    Poetry Canada, Vol. 14, No.1

  • "Whether it is the visceral evocation of a childhood picnic in Scotland or the deft description of her fatherís bitter-sweet experiences in a senior citizens lodge, Majorís poetry in [Lattice of the Years] always hits its emotional target and reveals an unerring sense of linguistic control. I found myself re-reading Majorís poems again and again, drawn to her haunting imagery."
    Edmonton Journal, April 23, 1999

  • "Majorís collection of poetry casts a wide net over the diversity of urban life in Edmonton. She plays mythic space and urban space against each other in wonderfully provocative ways."
    Jury comments, City of Edmonton Book Prize, 2000. (Tales for an Urban Sky)

  • "These are inventive, humourous pieces that cruise the urban landscape. The book is broken into four sections, and Major has great fun mythologizing the modern city and its inhabitants. Ö This book takes a clever idea and brings it to fruition through Majorís flair for poetic narrative."
    Prairie Fire Review of Books (Tales for an Urban Sky)

  • "Looking at this new volume alone, it is clear that her greatest talent lies in creating imagery that illuminates entire narrative sequences. Often the images are conjured with great economy, such as the one that punctuates this scene:
          "Why do you not eat?" I asked.
          . . . God told me
          she murmured and the room ran with a current
          carried on the sidelong slide of eyes."
    The electric sibilants in that final line mimic the movement of an unspoken thought among the people in a roomóand in so doing, conjure those people almost magically."
    Literary Review of Canada, Nov-Dec. 2001

  • "The conceit of gestation/parturition in Corona Radiata can be understood and usefully approached in three principal ways: an overall set of image clusters, as the poet does with her carefully chosen titles and arrangement of titles; the seeding and expansion (both quite apt to the conceit here) of a couple of general metaphors, notably those of art as making and word (logos) as message; and an often implicit echoing and reformatting of supportive biblical references."
    Antigonish Review, No. 128 ("Three from St. Thomas")

  • "A master of both narrative technique and precise imagery, Major offers the reader a series of realistic word-portraits of women who, lacking other ways and means of expressing themselves, found expression in religious fervour."
    Canadian Bookseller, February, 2002

  • "This is not to say there are no beautiful poems in Some Bones and a Story. When the women are allowed to speak in their own particular, idiosyncratic voices, the result can be deeply moving and even funny. The moment of vocation is captured with heartbreaking simplicity in "Saint Marina": "It came as a voice that spoke my name/intimately, at my shoulder. My / name. The one my mother called me by."
    Books in Canada, September 2002


Alice Major's works copyright © to the author.


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