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Sharon Pollock Biography

(1936– ), Walsh, The Komagata Maru Incident, Blood Relations, A Compulsory Option, Generations

Canadian dramatist, born in Fredericton, educated at the University of New Brunswick. Pollock is generally regarded as a prairie dramatist. Her plays employ the documentary mode as a means of exploring social issues and forcing a reassessment of them. She first achieved recognition for Walsh (1973), which, like much of her later work, is about the mistreatment of minorities; it deals with the Canadian attempt to force the Sioux, who came north after the Battle of Little Big Horn, back into the USA. The Komagata Maru Incident (1976) addresses another historical instance of supposed Canadian racism, when a group of Sikh immigrants were prevented from landing in Vancouver in 1914. Blood Relations (1979) shows a shift to a concern with the negative stereotyping of unconventional women in its sympathetic representation of the folk figure Lizzie Borden, acquitted of the axe murder of her father and stepmother in New England in 1892, but subsequently condemned in the popular imagination. Other plays include A Compulsory Option (1971), Generations (1979), One Tiger to a Hill (1980), Whiskey Six (1983), Doc (1984), and Saucy Jack (1994).

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Ellis’ [Edith Mary Pargeter] ‘Peters Biography to Portrait of Dora (Portrait de Dora)