The Tomorrow Tamer

Topics: Margaret Laurence, Fiction, Somalia Pages: 2 (584 words) Published: November 8, 2010
The Tomorrow-Tamer story carries a large weight of her musings on religion at this time, and all of them are based on her intense awareness of the disruptions caused by one society's impositions on another and the tragedies of failures in communication that inevitably follow.

Marriage to Jack Laurence, an hydraulic engineer, and a move, first to London, England, and then to dam-building projects in Somaliland and Ghana, began Margaret's second major broadening of horizons. As she has recorded in The Prophet's Camel Bell, the story of the Somaliland experience written some ten years later, she read the Old Testament on the voyage out and found on her arrival a desert people whose way of life, governed by the harsh demands of the seasonal search for water, had not changed since biblical times, although their religion was Muslim. She also found herself // a stranger in a strange land." Distanced from Canada as she now was, she began to see that all peoples' problems are the same in kind, though not in place or time, and that the great themes of literature - love, endurance, survival - are universal. After two years in Somaliland the Laurences were in the Gold Coast from 1952 to 1957, the years just before independence, when the British colonial administration gave way to the new nation of Ghana. These African years matured Margaret Laurence and consolidated her purpose and the writing talent that she had practised since childhood, but hitherto without confidence and without conscious direction. Besides A Tree for Poverty, her translations of Somali poetry, her years there are represented by only one published story - "Uncertain Flowering" – its title perhaps better describes her writing at that time than the story it represents. In the Ghana years, however, there was a flowering indeed; she was happy and fulfilled; her two children were born in these years; she became an eager student of African history and religions; she was passionately caught up in the...
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