“One Child Reading”: Extending the Landscape

Margaret Mackey writes:

When University of Alberta Press published my book, One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography, in 2016, it marked an important way station in a very long process. To explore the materials of my own childhood literacy, I spent years assembling books from my youth, along with magazines, Sunday-school leaflets, TV shows, radio programs, knitting patterns, and much more. My book investigates how these varied texts fed into a growing literacy. University of Alberta Press provided a brilliant book design that let me display many of the texts that fed my literate childhood.

But a book must leave a lot out. As I created the paper product, I promised myself I would find a way to showcase more multimodal and/or more extended elements of the rich textual world I inhabited as a child. Some approaches fell short, limited by budget or technical potential or the transiency of student life (but I thank Logan Gilmour, Cody Steinke, and Andrew Theobald for helping me experiment). A serious illness delayed everything – but, in the end, Natasha Nunn, Karen Willsher, and I developed a website that expands the print parameters of the book. My thanks to them, and also to SSHRC whose support underpinned everything. You can sample the richness of one literate life in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in the 1950s. Enjoy!