The Autobiographical Character in Works by Janice Kulyk Keefer (From the Novel “The Green Library” to the Memoir Book “Honey and Ashes”)

Anastasiia Davydova


Modern society is in conditions of indeterminacy: there is a tendency to create an integrated social foundation, which would be free from racial or national prejudices and would give a powerful creative urge, – on the one hand, and on the other hand − such processes inevitably destroy the borders of national identity what causes the crisis of national identities. In this context it is very interesting to analyze works by the authors who are possessed of an ambivalent identity, what in fact inspires them to create transcultural texts with real events and historical facts assumed as the basis. That is why the article deals with the problem of autobiographical character of works by modern Canadian writer – Janice Kulyk Keefer. The study examines the correlation of the novel “The Green Library” and the memoir book “Honey and Ashes” due to the context of national identity’s crisis, which has keenly revealed in modern social globalization processes. The text of the novel is analyzed in terms of the identity’s research method. The study highlights as a result that Janice Kulyk Keefer deals with the problem of “The Old Place” history and her family roots because she is looking for an answer to the question “who am I?”, caused by the difficulty of national self-identification by the second and third immigrant generations. This article will be useful for those who are interested in modern Canadian women writing, in the problem of national identity and autobiographical character.


autobiographical character; identity crisis; national identity; “The Old Place”; memoir book; Janice Kulyk Keefer


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Zizek Slavoj. Tarrying with the Negative: Kant, Hegel, and the Critique of Ideology. Durham, 1993, 212 p.

GOST Style Citations

Diakunchak Y. A New Memoir by Ukrainian Canadian Kulyk Keefer [Electronic resource] / Y. Diakunchak // The Ukrainian Weekly. - 1999. - Vol. LXVII. - No 9. – Available at :


Grekul L. Leaving Shadows: Literature in English by Canada’s Ukrainians / Lisa Grekul. - Edmonton : U of Alberta P, 2005. - 296 p.


Jameson F. The Identity in Question / Fredric Jameson // On Cultural Studies ; [еd. by John Rajchman]. - New York : Routledge, 1995. - P. 251-295.


Kulyk Keefer J. Honey and Ashes: A Story of Family / Janice Kulyk Keefer. - Toronto : Harper Flamingo, 1998. - 338 p.


Kulyk Keefer J. The Green Library / Janice Kulyk Keefer. - Toronto : Harper Collins, 1996. - 261 p.


Saidero D. Interview with Janice Kulyk Keefer / Deborah Saidero // Janice Kulyk Keefer. Essays on her works / [ed. by Deborah Saidero]. - Toronto : Guernica, 2010. - P. 186-207.


Zizek S. Tarrying with the Negative: Kant, Hegel, and the Critique of Ideology / Slavoj Zizek. - Durham : Duke UP, 1993. - 212 p.

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Pytannia literaturoznavstva
ISSN 2306-2908 
Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University
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