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The Queen of Peace Room
     

The Queen of Peace Room

5.0 1
by Magie Dominic
 

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What is memory, and where is it stored in the body? Can a room be symbolic of a lifetime?

Memories are like layers of your skin or layers of paint on a canvas. In The Queen of Peace Room , Magie Dominic peels away these layers as she explores her life, that of a Newfoundlander turned New Yorker, an artist and a writer — and frees herself from the

Overview

What is memory, and where is it stored in the body? Can a room be symbolic of a lifetime?

Memories are like layers of your skin or layers of paint on a canvas. In The Queen of Peace Room , Magie Dominic peels away these layers as she explores her life, that of a Newfoundlander turned New Yorker, an artist and a writer — and frees herself from the memories of her violent past.

On an eight-day retreat with Catholic nuns in a remote location safe from the outside world, she exposes, and captures, fifty years of violent memories and weaves them into a tapestry of unforgettable images. The room she inhabits while there is called The Queen of Peace Room; it becomes, for her, a room of sanctuary. She examines Newfoundland in the 1940s and 1950s and New York in the 1960s; her confrontations with violence, incest, and rape; the devastating loss of friends to AIDS; and the relationship between life and art. These memories she finds stored alongside memories of nature’s images of trees pulling themselves up from their roots and fleeing the forest; storms and ley lines, and skies bursting with star-like eyes.

In The Queen of Peace Room , from a very personal perspective, Magie Dominic explores violence against women in the second half of the twentieth century, and in doing so unearths the memory of a generation. In eight days, she captures half a century.

Editorial Reviews

Elly Danica
''The Queen of Peace Room is a courageous and spiritual book. It is both searing and lyrical, infused with Dominic's hope and hard-won trust in herself. It is a passionate search for the means and a safe context that will enable her to tell the truth: the painful and long-denied truth hidden beneath the more public layers of persona. The Queen of Peace Room is an eloquent chronicle of the struggles of Magie Dominic's journey through a lifetime of memories.''
Donald Frost
''In The Queen of Peace Room , Magie Dominic puts her guts on every page without being mawkish, with sentiment, but without sentimentality. You'll love this book.''
Dione M. Coumbe
''Despite the sometimes horrifying subject matter, Dominic's writing skill provides a balm which lifts this memoire into the extraordinary.''
Rain Taxi, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer 2003 - Thomas Haley
''It is her refreshing refusal to simply confess and forget...and her determination to construct a future from the painful shards of her past, that make The Queen of Peace Room such an original, instructive, and powerful book.''
Forst
In The Queen of Peace Room, Magie Dominic puts her guts on every page without being mawkish, with sentiment, but without sentimentality. You'll love this book.
— editor-in-chief, The Village Voice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780889204171
Publisher:
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Publication date:
09/18/2002
Series:
Life Writing Series
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Magie Dominic , Newfoundland writer and artist, has long been active in the peace movement. Her essays and poetry have been published in over fifty anthologies and journals in Canada, the United States, Italy, and India. Her artwork has been exhibited in Toronto and New York, including a presentation at the United Nations.

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Queen of Peace Room 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Queen of Peace Room

By Magie Dominic
Paperback: 114 pages
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press; (2002)
Genre: Life Writing > Autobiography

Resting in my hands is a slender book. Its cover has a black matte finish that is pleasing to the touch and a picture crafted by the author that effortlessly holds my attention. This book, its cover, the paper used to embrace what will become some of the most illuminative words I have read in a long while, and the graceful artwork therein, all form a package that is difficult to release. I hold this book for a long while then manage to put it down only to return to hold it again later. I know about the subject matter that resides between the covers of this work because its author Magie Dominic wrote to me about the narrative that lives there. I know she writes with an eloquence to which I am unaccustomed. I also know that once I begin to read what I know will be an intense autobiographical chronicle; I won¿t be able to stop. Maybe its because I do know what¿s there that I hesitate to begin. Yes. And that¿s why I hold on to this small, beautiful book but have a hard time starting the journey.

When I do begin to read The Queen of Peace Room I am immediately rewarded. The prose is solid, it¿s beautiful, and it¿s satiating. Make no mistake, this story is disturbing but its telling is done with such a light touch that I barely feel the sting until I put it down. Then it won¿t leave my mind.

I grew up in a world so radically different from Magie Dominic¿s that I find myself having to catch my breath as I try and place myself inside of her world ¿ inside of her being. Tucked between the covers of this willowy book is a narrative so immense it¿s just barely contained by the fine matte jacket surrounding the work. The things that go to make up this life I can only imagine.

She was a victim of sexual abuse at the age of seven or eight at the hands of a metaphorical Cyclopes. Like Polyphemus from Homer's Odyssey, Dominic¿s tormentor was fond of warm, moist, human flesh. Greedily he gorged himself on a child¿s mind, body, and dignity. The beast¿s hideous glass eye perched on the family car¿s dashboard watched impassively as a child became prey. An unblinking witness to a horror no human should ever endure.

In the 1960s, she was stalked, beaten, and raped by an unknown assailant. She plunged into a deep depression and attempted suicide only to be comforted by a mother who made it clear that all of this trauma had absolutely no place in public discussion ¿ no place ruining the family¿s Christmas.

The Queen of Peace Room unfolds, as Magie Dominic unfolds, during an eight-day retreat in a place safe from the intruding world surrounded by the love of kindred spirits and the hushed quietude of nature. In a deeply personal and inviting tone, Magie takes us into the deepest folds of her life. She leads us through a wilderness of pain, humiliation, death and finally to a serene place where a harnessed field meets a wild meadow. Here, at this locus in time