Paper 162 pp.
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Magie Dominic’s first memoir, The Queen of Peace Room, was shortlisted for the Canadian Women’s Studies Award, ForeWord magazine’s Book of the Year Award, and the Judy Grahn Award. Told over an eight-day period, the book captured a lifetime of turbulent memories, documenting with skill Dominic’s experiences of violence, incest, and rape. But her story wasn’t finished.
Street Angel opens to the voice of an eleven-year-old Dominic. She’s growing up in Newfoundland. Her mother suffers from terrifying nighttime hallucinations. Her father’s business is about to collapse. She layers the world she hears on radio and television onto her family, speaking in paratactic prose with a point-blank delivery. She finds relief only in the glamour of Hollywood films and the majesty of Newfoundland’s wilderness.
Revealing her life through flashbacks, humour, and her signature self-confidence, Dominic takes readers from 1950s Newfoundland to 1960s Pittsburgh, 1970s New York, and the end of the millennium in Toronto. Capturing the long days of childhood, this book questions how important those days are in shaping who we become as we age and time seems to speed up. With quick brush-stroke chapters Dominic chronicles sixty years of a complex, secretive family in this story about violence, adolescence, families, and forgiveness.
Magie Dominic, Newfoundland writer and artist, has long been active in the peace movement. Her essays and poetry have been published in over fifty anthologies and journals in Canada, the United States, Italy, and India. Her artwork has been exhibited in Toronto and New York, including a presentation at the United Nations.
“Magie Dominic tells us many things about her young life as a little girl on the seacoast of Newfoundland, where in the 1940s it matters a lot if you are Catholic or non-Catholic. This little girl grows up to become the woman who is able to write this book against all the odds of fear and superstition.”
— Nancy Milford, author of Zelda (1970), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and Savage Beauty, a biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay (2001)
“Street Angel picks up the thread of narrative from The Queen of Peace Room, spanning politics, celebrity, social history, war, television, film, pop music, and other media. Dominic imbues all of this for us, her readers, in luminous prose, crafting an odyssey across decades. In this exceptionally courageous account, the author seeks to overcome familial abuse, utilizing the virtues of intelligence, wit, and passion, accompanied by a chorus of societal furies, such as world wars, economic upheaval, and social unrest. This is where she reaches a zenith of life writing.”
— Anne Burke, editor of The Prairie Journal of Canadian Literature, chair of the Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets