Gender and Creativity in the Fictions of Janice Galloway

  • Dorothy McMillan


Janice Galloway has become something of an all-rounder: her repertoire includes short stories, poems, theatrical, operatic and sculptural collaborations, and music reviews as well as her three novels, The Trick is to Keep Breathing (1989), Foreign Farts (1994) and Clara (2002).1 The novels are my concern, but Janice Galloway’s other literary, visual and musical experiments inform the techniques of the three long fictions. In these Galloway often presents women’s lives as following the pattern of short stories or vignettes with numerous repeated epiphanies or clarifications, sometimes negative, sometimes positive, rather than driving towards definitive or climactic closure. She is well known for her exploitation of the visual possibilities of the page, and she structures Clara in sections which roughly follow Robert Schumann’s song cycle, Frauen Liebe und Leben (Women’s Life and Love). It is perhaps the voracity of Galloway’s formal experimentation that constitutes her feminism as much as her actual subject matter.


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For Further Reading

  1. The best source for Janice Galloway’s work is her own website, <>, which has biographical information, interviews, reviews and essays.
  2. Craig, Cairns, The Modern Scottish Novel Narrative and the National Imagination (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  3. Norquay, Glenda, ‘Janice Galloway’s Novels: Fraudulent Mooching’, in Contemporary Scottish Women Writers, ed. Aileen Christianson and Alison Lumsden (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000), pp. 131–43.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dorothy McMillan 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothy McMillan

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