Jane (Vance) Rule Critical Essays


(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Jane (Vance) Rule 1931–

American-born Canadian novelist, short story writer, and essayist.

An avowed lesbian, Rule writes with clarity and insight about the struggles and triumphs peculiar to relationships among women. Her characters are typically outcasts, rejected by or rejecting contemporary society.

Although Rule was born and raised in the United States, she has lived in Canada for over twenty years. Her writing reflects many traditional Canadian themes, most notably the love of the landscape and the desire to escape the encroachment of modern technology. Her novel The Young in One Another's Arms (1977), for example, describes an assortment of young eccentrics who retreat from society in an attempt to construct an alternative mode of living. Outlander (1982), her recent collection of essays and short stories, follows a similar theme by portraying various aspects of life on the edge of contemporary culture.

Rule is also concerned with the relation of women to art. Her critical essays in Lesbian Images (1975) examine twelve women writers and how lesbianism has affected their lives and their work. The depth of her scope has led one critic to note that Lesbian Images "offers an expanded view of women in our culture."

(See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 25-28, rev. ed.)