This post is part of a series featuring individual members of the international, interdisciplinary editorial board of the Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies. Read about editorial board members' achievements and their reflections on L.M. Montgomery.
Melanie J. Fishbane holds a M.F.A. from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and a M.A. from Concordia University. With over seventeen years’ experience in publishing, she also lectures internationally on children's literature. Melanie teaches writing and children’s literature at Humber, George Brown, and Seneca colleges. Her essay, "My Pen Shall Heal, Not Hurt": Writing as Therapy in L.M. Montgomery's Rilla of Ingleside and The Blythes Are Quoted," is included in L.M. Montgomery's Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years 1911-1942 and her first novel, Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery, was published in 2017. She also has an essay in, Reconsidering Laura Ingalls Wilder, “Laura’s ‘Farmer Boy:’ Fictionalizing Almanzo Wilder in the Little House Series.” Melanie’s current research focuses on Montgomery’s writing process, her teen years, and her influence on young adult literature, particularly in the cultivation of a literary trope she calls the “Perfect Man Archetype.” Recently, she’s been investigating Victorian literature through a Jewish lens.
You can follow Melanie on Twitter @MelanieFishbane, on Instagram melanie_fishbane, and like her on Facebook.
We asked the journal editorial board members some questions. Here are Melanie Fishbane's responses:
What does being an editorial board member mean to you?
Melanie: To be on the board means not only being part of the conversation of what will be happening in Montgomery studies, but selfishly seeing things before others might. On a personal note it made me feel like my contributions also meant something.
What would you like to see the journal contribute to L.M. Montgomery studies?
Melanie: Engage in interesting and new conversations, using art in innovative ways.
Some L.M. Montgomery favourites:
Who is your favourite fictional Montgomery couple?
Melanie: Barney and Valancy.
What is your favourite adaptation of a Montgomery text?
Melanie: Weirdly, I’m kind of obsessed with the Anne & Gilbert: The Musical.
What do you think is the best line from L.M. Montgomery?
Melanie: “Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps . . . perhaps . . . love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.”
Who is your favourite love interest?
Melanie: Gilbert Blythe (of course) — close second is Barney Snaith.
What's your favourite (real or imagined) place L.M. Montgomery site?
Who is your favourite kindred spirit?
Who is the best animal?
Melanie: Dog Monday
L.M. Montgomery...the underrated and unexpected:
Which text is the most underrated?
Melanie: Perhaps the Pat books. I’m also rereading Anne of Windy Poplars right now and there’s more to that novel than I initially believed.
Best unexpected intertextual moment?
Melanie: Montgomery is all over Stephanie Perkins’ books, but most recently I would say Emily of New Moon in Russian Doll.
And some other favourites:
Where is the most interesting place you've been when reading Montgomery?
Melanie: Florida, near my grandfather’s pool.
Which work would you most like to see adapted and what medium would you like to see it adapted to?
Melanie: There needs to be a mini-series based on Rilla of Ingleside and a good movie adaptation of The Blue Castle.
What was the funniest moment in a Montgomery novel?
Melanie: Green hair.
What was Montgomery's greatest accomplishment?
Melanie: Her greatest accomplishment is that she LIVED. Lived on in our collective memories, creating stories that still resonate today. She was involved in many early Canadian author moments, such as the Canadian Author’s Association, and provided a foundation for women writers in Canada, if not around the world.