Women of Labrador

Other Writing

(by Morgen) This morning the Arctic Institute published an article of mine about Elizabeth Goudie’s 1973 memoir Woman of Labrador, as part of a series on “Queering the Arctic,” and coinciding with the book’s 50th anniversary. Take a look!

Much of my passion for publishing comes from Labrador women—mostly women whom I know personally, but also some remarkable women whom I’ve only ever met through their written words.  Elizabeth Goudie died before I was born, but Woman of Labrador is the watershed work of Labrador life writing. I’ve spent countless hours with it and thinking about it, both at school and at home.  Sometimes I’ve thought about how silly it is to imagine one “woman of Labrador,” when there are so many very different women living here, especially in an age when we have become so much more aware of our differences than our common ground. Personally, I speak from a queer and gendered space, but Labrador women could as easily talk (and do talk!) about culture, geography, class, age, ability, or any number of other dimensions of human experience.

Mostly, though, I’ve been moved by Goudie’s steadfast gentleness.  I’m honoured to have the chance to celebrate Woman of Labrador in my own writing, and to contribute my thoughts about how our generation of diverse Labrador readers can apply and update Goudie’s teachings for our contemporary world. Times change, and our perspectives change with them.  Still, some things remain the same. Woman of Labrador ends with the words: “I hope I can be a friend to people. We should all strive to live in peace with one another. That’s the only way to live right.”  For all our outward differences, I feel exactly the same way, and I hope our work with Brack and Brine proceeds in the same spirit.

black and white portrait of Elizabeth Goudie

Elizabeth Goudie, 1977. Them Days photo. Used with permission.