After the publication of The Fire-Dwellers in 1969 Margaret Laurence stated:
At the moment, I have the same feeling as I did when I knew I had finished writing about Africa. I've gone as far as I personally can go, in the area in which I've lived for the past three novels. A change of direction would appear to be indicated. I have a halfway hunch where I want to go, but I don't know how to get there, or what will be there if I do. Maybe I'll strike it lucky and find the right compass, or maybe I won't.1
Rocard, Marcienne, Margaret Laurence's Attempt at Audio-Visual Fiction, Kunapipi, 1(2), 1979.