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Making Avonlea: L.M. Montgomery and Popular Culture (2002)

Making Avonlea: L.M. Montgomery and Popular Culture.  Ed. Irene Gammel.

Ed. Irene Gammel.
University of Toronto Press, 2002.
(From UTP catalogue)

Since the publication of Anne of Green Gables in 1908, L.M. Montgomery and the world of Anne have burgeoned into a global cultural phenomenon, popular not only in Canada, but in countries around the world, including Japan, the United States, and Iran. Making Avonlea, the first study to focus on Montgomery and her characters as popular cultural icons, brings together twenty-three scholars from around the world to examine Montgomery's work, its place in our imagination, and its myriad spinoffs including musicals, films, television series, T-shirts, dolls, and a tourist industry. 

Invoking theories of popular culture, film, literature, drama, and tourism, the essayists probe the emotional attachment and loyalty of many generations of mostly female readers to Montgomery's books while also scrutinizing the fierce controversies that surround these books and their author's legacy in Canada. Twenty-five illustrations of theatre and film stills, artwork, and popular cultural artifacts, as well as short pieces featuring personal reflections on Montgomery's novels, are interwoven with scholarly essays to provide a complete picture of the Montgomery cultural phenomenon. Mythopoetics, erotic romance, and visual imagination are subjects of discussion, as is the commercial success of a variety of television series and movies, musicals, and plays based on the Anne books. Scholars are also concerned with the challenges and disputes that surround the translation of Montgomery's work from print to screen and with the growth of tourist sites and websites that have moved Avonlea into new cultural landscapes. 

Making Avonlea allows the reader to travel to these sites and to consider Canada's most enduring literary figures and celebrity author in light of their status as international icons almost one hundred years after their arrival on the scene.