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From a High Thin Wire

TitleFrom a High Thin Wire
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1982
AuthorsClark, Joan
ISBN Number9780864923851
Author Profile: 

This novel begins with Emily, a Cape Breton native, who returns to the island to resolve her issues with a community she left behind. Her disconnect with the people, the history, and her place in the community leads Emily to fall into her memories, recalling hardships she endured in the past as a young girl becoming a woman, and a young woman finding herself. Emily’s story abruptly ends, and another woman’s story begins. The novel transforms into a collection of short stories of women trying to overcome gender discrimination and gender roles, all the while trying to understand themselves as women.


“It had reached the point where she would avoid making a complaint even when it was justified. She did this with her family: day after day she picked up dirty clothes, wet towels, newspapers, wiped up spilled milk and mud tracked as far as bedrooms, saying nothing: There was no one around to say anything to anyway, they were all off to work or school when she set to cleaning up, muttering, angrily: the whole family: Don, Tom, Megan, Jimmy, came under fire. She overstated her case, played the martyr, exaggerated the wrongs until she became disgusted by her dramatization, her inability to be casual and matter-of-fact.” (64)