Lezlie Lowe's The Volunteers and Painted Worlds by Dr. Laurie Dalton reconsider conventional narratives.

Celebrate Women’s History Month with two hot local books reframing women’s history

One new book aims to lift Maud Lewis’s profile by discussing her art, another explains that World War Two was won thanks to Halifax women.

Sometimes, just when you think you know a story by heart, a new narrative shows up to make you reconsider all you thought you knew. Case in point? Two new hot, local books from Nimbus Publishing are ready to prove you blissfully wrong.

Painted Worlds: The Art of Maud Lewis–A Critical Perspective by Dr. Laurie Dalton drops April 5, 2022. There’s been no shortage of books on Nova Scotia’s art brut babe over the years, from coffee table books to books about her famed painted house to the luminous, life-affirming fictional novel about her life by Carol Bruneau, 2019’s Brighten The Corner Where You Are. But while most writers want to focus on Lewis’s lack of formal training, Painted Worlds finally gives the folk artist her due, situating her within the context of art history. “Discussions of technique, intent and colour theory permeate these pages,” promotion material for the book promises. “Instead of reducing Lewis to her cute black cats and whimsical rural scenes, Dalton takes us on a deep dive of the artist’s oeuvre.” About time.

But of course Lewis is far from the only Nova Scotian woman whose contributions have been minimized in the historical record. Award-winning journalist, Coast contributing editor and author Lezlie Lowe’s new book The Volunteers: How Halifax Women Won The Second World War shows how domestic labour and care tasks undertook by untold thousands of women in Halifax proved to be a secret source of success for the allies in World War Two. The book is out March 8; Lowe will be joining The Coast on Instagram Live this Friday (March 4) to discuss it.

About The Author

Morgan Mullin

Morgan is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she writes about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She’s been with The Coast since 2016.

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