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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist

Author

Gwen Tuinman

Gwen Tuinman is a novelist, born and raised in rural southern Ontario. Fascinated by the landscape of human tenacity, she tells stories about people navigating the social restrictions of their era. Her storytelling is influenced by an interest in bygone days. She is author of The Last Hoffman, and creator of the womxn-creatives collective, The Wild Nellies.

Adulting: Then and Now

On her marriage certificate dated 1907, officials categorized my great-grandmother Essie as a spinster. She was only 22 years old. I thought of it when I read this quote:

“Since young people must meet ever-higher criteria (including more schooling) in order to become successful adults in the information age, the ladders they must climb to reach adulthood are lengthening. (…) In post-industrial societies like the United States, the age has shifted from twenty-two to twenty-six.” Imagining Ourselves: Global Voices from a New Generation of Women, Edited by Paula Goldman 
Continue reading “Adulting: Then and Now”

Celebrating Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960)

One of the most creatively formatted books I’ve read is Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The life of Zora Neale Hurston. This biography of Zora Neale Hurston is lush with details of her life journey through an expansive career that includes anthropological research of African-American culture and folklore; journalistic and novel writing; playwright and directorial work in the live theatre realm; and activism. She was a valuable contributor to Black History.

Continue reading “Celebrating Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960)”

Truth in Life Versus Truth in Art and Writing

In Aspects of the Novel, developed from a series of his 1927 Trinity College lectures, E.M. Forster shared an excerpt of work by author André Gide. The passage examines “the old thesis of truth in life versus truth in art.” Upon first reading this phrase, I thought brilliant idea—then doubled back for another pass and sunk into it like a warm bath. Truth in life versus truth in art.

The title of this piece you’re reading could easily be renamed Plato Versus Aristotle. The former believed artists create a mere imitation of life that distracts from truth. Aristotle took a view friendlier to creatives. “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearances of things, but their inward significance.” The manner in which artists depict an object, projects their “inward” experience of the world—#speakyourtruth.

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