Comments on this post:
  • Kayleigh Sheehan

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    7 years ago

    By no means a comprehensive list, you have Guy Vanderhaeghe (“The Englishman’s Boy”, a western epic recently adapted by the phenomenal John N. Smith); Will Ferguson (the humorous, nationally, naturally, self-deprecating “How to be a Canadian”); David Adams Richards (“Mercy Among the Children”); Jane Urquhart (“The Stone Carvers”); Wayne Johnston (“The Colony of Unrequited Dreams”); Douglas Coupland (“Hey Nostradamus!”); Mordecai Richler (“St. Urbain's Horseman”); Michael Ondaatje (“The English Patient”); Richard B. Wright (“Clara Callan”); Rohinton Mistry (“Such a Long Journey”); Carol Shields (“The Stone Diaries”). Best of luck making your choices!

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  • Kayleigh Sheehan

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    7 years ago

    P. S. I would definitely count a collection of short stories as a book. Alistair MacLeod (“Island”) is a particular favourite of mine. And if you’re interested in non-fiction at all, Charlotte Gray (“Canada: A Portrait in Letters”) is one of our best historians. Penguin Canada is also in the process of releasing Extraordinary Canadians, a series of biographies of people like Mordecai Richler by people like M. G. Vassanji (“The Assassin’s Song”).

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  • Thomas McIntyre

    • Indigo Employee

    7 years ago

    Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry is essential. Not only a great Canadian book, but one of the true masterworks of the 20th C. Despite the radical changes to fiction that occured during high modernism and post-modernism, this book remains permanently avante-garde like Tristam Shandy or Tender Buttons.

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  • 7 years ago

    While it's probably the predictible answer, I'd start with A Handmaid's Tale if you're looking for an Atwood. Oryx and Crake is another good one. Basically, I think she's best with dystopian lit.

    I see Richler's name above. I'd also suggest Barney's Version by him.

    And while I haven't read anything by him, perhaps a Guy Gavriel Kay novel would be a good starting point. He seems pretty popular and as a fantasy fiction author, doesn't have the broccoli connotations ;) some other Canadian authors have.

    And yes, a collection of short stories is more than acceptable!

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  • Unknown User

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    7 years ago

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  • Nathan Burgoine

    • Author
    • Coles Employee

    7 years ago

    "The Wife Tree," by Dorothy Speak was a wonderful story that really struck me as Canadian in theme. Also "Burning Ground," by Pearl Luke was another wonderful Canadian story with a uniquely Canadian setting. You can't go wrong with Elizabeth Hay, either, especially "A Student of Weather."

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  • cara sheppard

    • Author
    • Chapters Employee

    7 years ago

    Stanley Park by Timothy Taylor is amazing, and a great example of thoroughly modern Can Lit.

    My favourite classic Can Lit novel is The Hidden Mountain by Gabrielle Roy. I think it's her best novel, but it isn't reprinted nearly as much as Children of My Heart and The Tin Flute. If you're looking for a philosophical angle, The Hidden Mountain is for you.

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  • 7 years ago

    Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill was great. Solomon Gurksy was Here by Mordechai Richler is a classic.
    And if you're into poetry at all, Canadian poetry of the 1950s and 1960s (Leonard Cohen, Irving Layton) is there is. I recommend Stranger Music by Leonard Cohen, and A Wild Peculiar Joy by Irving Layton.

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  • Mary Novik

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    • Most Popular

    7 years ago

    A while ago I posted my list of books I'd want to have with me on a desert island
    http://community.indigo.ca/toptens/Mary-Noviks-Desert-Island-Reading-Mary-Novik/259898.html
    Hope that link works for you. These are all older works, and I'm actually thinking of replacing Each Man's Son with something else, though still in that early time period. I like the suggestions by others above. This is obviously a fairly discriminating group of readers.
    If you'd like to strike out, you could try my novel, Conceit, which is about Pegge Donne, the daughter of the poet John Donne. It's Canadian and was actually long-listed for the Giller in 2007. It also won "the Ethel" (BC Book Prizes).

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  • 7 years ago

    One of my favourite Canadian authors that isn't yet named is Jack Whyte. He has a great series of books on the King Arthur legend. The first one in the series is called The Skystone. I think Life of Pi is a great start. It is such a fun read! For a book of short stories, I really enjoyed Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood and you should also consider Fifth Business by Robertson Davies.

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  • Unknown User

    • Top Blogger

    7 years ago

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  • Claire Humphrey

    • Indigo Employee
    • Most Helpful

    6 years ago

    I'd like to add a rec: All My Friends are Superheroes, by Andrew Kaufman. Also not "broccoli" (loved that phrase, John). It's a short, funny and poignant meditation on contemporary love.

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