"Experiencing It Through the Skin": Karen Connelly's Writing on Travel

Magali Sperling Beck


"Holly Luhning and Karen Connelly are among a group of contemporary Canadian women writers who incorporate the experience of “not being at home” into their works as a way to reinvent their selves. For them, the crossing of borders is marked by their gendered, cultural, and social bodies, which are constantly reading, and being read, by the people they encounter. If travel and exploration have been traditionally approached as “masculine” endeavours, many of these women challenge this view as they engage in physical and literary experiences of travel, further investigating the connections between the inner and outer worlds. As the titles of collections of women’s travel literature, such as Outside of Ordinary: Women’s Travel Stories (2005) or This Place a Stranger: Canadian Women Travelling Alone (2015), demonstrate, Canadian women have more often than not “hit the road,” and the critical attention devoted to these works might help to shed some light onto what is involved in reconstructing identities at the crossroads."

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