Her first publication in retirement, The Domestic Space Reader, edited by Mezei and Chiara Briganti, was published in 2012. Theorizing domestic space has been a long term focus of Mezei’s, developing from her interest in the domestic novel. She taught courses on this subject in the Humanities Department, and realized first hand the need for a comprehensive reader on the topic: “I was Xeroxing articles and throwing things together for my course readings and it became clear that we should put together a book that you can use in the classroom.” Before she knew she was to retire, Mezei secured a SSHRC that ended up carrying the project through to publication.
The book’s expansive scope sets it apart as a unique contribution to the field, and also make it accessible to the general reader. Mezei notes, “What is different about this book is that subjects like domestic space tend to be dominated by the social sciences, but we included quite a few articles on domestic space in literature and in art—paintings, sculptures, and installations—so the book is more unusual and it can be used across any discipline.”
Her second book, Translation Effects: The Shaping of Modern Canadian Culture, was published this year, edited with Sherry Simon and Luise von Flotow. Again, this work was the result of a long-time interest of Mezei’s, beginning with her MA thesis that translated a novel from French into English. Although she did not pursue a career as a translator, she did continue to translate poetry and developed an interest in critical thinking about translation. The co-editors of the book are translation scholars, and together they decided to compile a collection of essays on translation events and their effects in Canada.