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Passing Ceremony

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Passing Ceremony, Helen Weinzweig. House of Anansi Press, 1973. 

Vintage softcover. Very light shelfwear. No markings. Very good condition. 

"In this brilliant first novel, a wedding reception becomes a gothic dream in which bride, groom, family and guests struggle with private obsessions, guilty fantasies of sex and power, and the constant failure of love.

Like a piece of modern music, Passing Ceremony is composed of brief, suggestive fragments which grow into a tightly integrated whole. There are bits of real and imagine conversation; polite dialogues which have a way of sliding into mad comic banality; scenes which might be quiet nightmares out of Borges or Antonioni. The reading will find the novel a satire or a rueful meditation on the ways in which people hurt one another. Certainly he will be absorbed by the novelist's vision of a world suspended in time, an uneasy territory of the soul which we all inhabit." (from back cover). 

“Weinzweig's books and stories were embraced in the 1960s and '70s by feminists, who saw in them a depiction of women that was missing from the literature of the day. " Passing Ceremonyand Basic Black with Pearls were important books at their time of publication, because they were experimental in form, and they remain important because they speak to the experiences of women at a very specific point in time," said Marc Cote, the publisher of Cormorant Books. "These were two novels that for many years were the mainstay of women's studies and Canadian literature classes."” (The Globe and Mail, 2010).