This brand-new book by Rita Shelton Deverell will be of interest to Brockers because it frames (in Introduction and Epilogue) the collection of personal stories with the author’s own account of formally terminating U.S. personhood in the 2015-2016 period.
Deverell was detained while transiting through the Miami airport early in 2015 (p. 5). On the basis of 1975 Canadian citizenship, she relinquished in August 2016 after a nine-month wait (p. 239). Far too politely, she makes no mention of the US $2350 fee. Likely this was not a big item in her budget.
The chapters gather mini-biographies under the standard headings of Canada’s treadworn exceptionalist narrative: Loyalists, Underground Railroad, McCarthyism, Vietnam War, same-sex marriage.
As a black originating from Houston Texas, and as a person familiar with Indigenous circumstances, Deverell shows some awareness of the deep cracks in the Canadian façade. Unfortunately, this manifestation of consciousness is more than offset by expressions of considerable privilege, both her own and that of most of her selected “subjects.” In the end, her attachments to Canadian statist sentiments cloud her vision, truncate her “research,” and facilitate repeated promo of how “welcoming” the essence of Canada really is.
Well-paid by Canada in many respects, Deverell pipes her tune on an unusually fancy stage. The publisher, University of Regina Press, proposes that it here provides “a voice for many peoples” in a “beautifully packaged” volume. After all, genuine criticism rarely sells well.