"The love token of a token immigrant" : Judith Merril's expatriate narrative, 1968-1972

Jolene McCann
2006
Judith Merril was an internationally acclaimed science fiction (sf) writer and editor who expatriated from the United States to Canada in November 1968 with the core of what would become the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy in Toronto. Merril chronicled her transition from a nominal American or "token immigrant" to an authentic Canadian immigrant in personal documents and a memoir, Better to Have Loved: the Life of Judith Merril (2002). I argue that Sidonie Smith's
more » ... at Sidonie Smith's travel writing theory, in particular, her notion of the "expatriate narrative" elucidates Merril's transition from a 'token' immigrant to a representative token of the American immigrant community residing in Toronto during the 1960s and 1970s. I further argue that Judith Merril's expatriate narrative links this personal transition to the simultaneous development of her science fiction library from its formation at Rochdale College to its donation by Merril in 1970 as a special branch of the Toronto Public Library (TPL). For twenty-seven years after Merril's expatriation from the United States, the Spaced Out Library cum Merril Collection - her love-token to the city and the universe - moored Merril politically and intellectually in Toronto.
doi:10.14288/1.0092591 fatcat:xvihi2z2v5hzxhenr7suxsybp4