The following is excerpted from the BC Studies review of Journey with No Maps by Sandra Djwa.
"Who am I," asks the narrator in an early poem, "Arras," by P.K. Page, “or, who am I become...?” (144). It’s a question Page was to return to many times, in both her literary and visual art; but it wasn’t a simple question the way Page posed it, and it didn’t make possible a simple answer. Page’s thinking about herself and her identity was not the usual sort; she was asking the question on a different level than simply trying to situate herself as a woman or Canadian or ambassador’s wife or poet, writer, artist. She was asking how “I” bring something into being; asking who is the self who engages in perception; asking about the multiple selves; asking about the relation of the temporal self to eternity; asking about the individual spirit in relation to the unmapped infinite. The challenge for her biographer was to meet Page in that enquiry, and yet at the same time, to write the life story in a way that was appealing to a reader interested in chronological sequence and in how Page’s life work as a writer and visual artist meshed with her life events.
As Sandra Djwa brings out this first and fascinating biography of P.K. Page, she locates the question of Page’s identity in diverse contexts: in the exciting social history of Canada through a time of two world wars and much change, especially in the lives and careers of women; in the evolution of modernism among Canadian writers and artists; and in the global setting of humanity in the space age.