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Wednesday's Child is the 1997 winner of the Maine Chapbook Award. It is in its fourth printing. It is taught in many university courses. This is a book about a female growing up, living in, trying to leave her cultural self behind, and then returning to the Franco-American cultural group which exists in the Northeast, and more specifically in Waterville, Maine. The book addresses what has been asked of me in order to be present to this cultural group of people. As a girl/woman who or how have I been asked to be? What has been asked of me? The book is written from the perspective of a contemporary woman who is also an historical person. The book is also as much about the conditions in which the Franco-American group exists as well as the writing about what it means to be Franco-American and female. This is a book about how we are our historical self while we are in the present. I am more of my past--than I am of the present moment--when it is in the present moment that I now exist. What is, or is not, reflected in my reality and the reality of other Franco-Americans? This book is about the female self and her formation through the many individuals and institutions around her. Through story and cultural filters, the book illustrates family, friends, religion, health, alcoholism, superstitions, art & craft, beliefs, values, song, recipe, story, coming-of-age, generations, motherhood, language, bilingualism, denials, sexuality and what constitutes a cultural individual in a society that will not always allow that person full access or realization to who she is. But she does it anyway.
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Cote Robbins was brought up bilingually in a Franco-American neighborhood in Waterville, Maine known as "down the Plains". She attended Waterville High School and graduated in 1971. Her maman came from Wallagrass, a town in the northern part of the state and her father was from Waterville. She has spent many years researching the origins and visiting the hometowns of her ancestors in Canada and France.
She attended the University of Maine at Presque Isle, 1980-1982, graduating with an A.A. degree with a concentration in Art. In 1982-85, she attended the University of Maine on a bilingual education scholarship. She edited an international, bilingual socio-cultural journal entitled, Le FORUM at the Franco-American Center from 1986-96. She has written for several other publication as well.
Ct Robbins was the 1997 winner of the Maine Chapbook Award for her work of creative nonfiction entitled, Wednesday's Child. She is currently working on a book of literary criticism on Grace de Repentigny Metalious, author of Peyton Place. She received her M.A. from the University of Maine in May, 1997. She is a founder and Executive Director of the Franco-American Women's Institute.
She lives in Brewer with her husband, David. They have three children, Bridget, Benjamin married to Jana Bishop, and Jesse.Review:
Wednesday's Child is a dark, dream-like meditation on fragility survival, of the body from cancer of the Franco-American community from its inheritance of paroissial piety, social marginality, relentless poverty. If your roots are in that community, there is much to recognize confirm; if not, there is much to learn remember. -- Clark Blaise
Against the more familiar observations of the small-town lifer the urban refugee, Rhea Cote Robbins' syncopations stood out, at once unique connected to a vibrant hardscrabble culture. This is a sensuous recollection made urgent by a pending medical diagnosis, the result is an energetic, poignant, revelatory memoir. ...Wednesday's Child is astir in every sentence. -- Sven Birkerts
Rhea Cote Robbins bring a strong, fresh voice to Maine Literature--honest, bright, true. She explores her rich, vital heritage with wisdom, humor, unquenchable spirit. -- Constance Hunting
Rhea Cote Robbins' Wednesday's Child is beautiful stuff, a defiant poignant memoir that transcends the personal. It is an important book not only for its immediate content, for the experience of life within its covers, but because it gives us a glimpse of the almost unmined Golconda of literary source material in Franco-American lives. -- E. Annie Proulx
WATERVILLE -- Franco-American writer Rhea Cote Robbins said she was reading "the nice chapters" from her book "Wednesday's Child," on Wednesday night at the public library. "The book is not just for me," the author said. "The book is for the community Franco-American heritage." Robbins, 46, a breast-cancer survivor and a mother of three, tells a story of creative nonfiction that began in her head when she was 16 years old. "I was scared to write," she said of her rejection of French culture that employed bright, clashing colors with a thick, exotic accent. "I rejected it," Robbins said. "But my father was the type of guy who said 'You'll be back.' " Robbins said she has learned to love the story she is telling, a story she once hated. --DOUG HARLOW, Staff Writer, Waterville Morning Sentinel, Thursday, November 11, 1999
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Book Description Booksurge Llc, 2007. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. 89 pages. 9.00x6.75x0.25 inches. This item is printed on demand. Seller Inventory # zk0966853644
Book Description Rheta Press, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0966853644
Book Description Rheta Press, 2008. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0966853644