The Canadian Reading Project

Oh, Canada! Our home and native land...

There are three reading projects that I have in mind and this is one of them. As a fellow Canadian, we seem to be more renowned for our delicious maple syrup, hockey and crack smoking mayor of Toronto as opposed to being recognized as a country that produces great literature. Although we do have several critically acclaimed authors such as Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler and Michael Ondaatje representing us (only to name a few), I feel that we are lacking in the literary talent department. I have yet to come across anything remotely resembling the "Great Canadian Novel." Furthermore, a lot of the so-called Canadian classics many students like myself had to suffer through during school proved to be most detestable--downright abhorrent in most cases. Don't even mention As for Me and my House by Sinclair Ross or The Temptations of Big Bear by Rudy Wiebe in my presence--both of these novels are abominations and make me feel embarrassed to be Canadian. Where's our Virginia Woolfs? Ernest Hemingways? Saul Bellows? J.D. Salingers? John Steinbecks? Graham Greenes? Let's face it, the majority of Canadian literature is pitiful but there must exist some hidden gems out there. I plan to use this reading challenge as a way to discover some great pieces of literature that have been forgotten or overlooked. Some of the questions I want to address while reading these works is what exactly constitutes Canadian national identity and how has it changed over the years? What specific characteristics or literary tropes distinguish Canadian literature from other countries? What is the role of multiculturalism, immigration and dislocation? Should Canadian authors who write in different genres or don't base their stories on Canadian culture be represented?

Considering the daunting task ahead, there is no time limit for me to finish this challenge. Feel free to make any recommendations and you more than welcome to join me on this reading challenge (the more the merrier!). If you happen to review any Canadian literary work on your blog, feel free to post a link in the comments section below or if you don`t have one, we can always get a discussion going.

So lets get this show on the road, eh?

My Reading List:

Novels read so far: 4.
  1. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
  2. The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
  3. Cockroach by Rawi Hage  
  4. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje 
  5. In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje
  6. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  7. Surfacing by Margaret Atwood
  8. As For Me and My House by Sinclair Ross
  9. The Diviners by Margaret Laurence 
  10. The Motorcyclist by George Eliot Clarke  
  11. All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
  12. Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
  13. Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
  14. The Clockmaker: the Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of Slickville by Thomas Chandler Haliburton 
  15. Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich by Stephen Leacock 
  16. Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro
  17. Who do you think you are? by Alice Munro 
  18. Such is My Beloved by Morley Callaghan 
  19. The Rebel Angels (Cornish Trilogy #1) by Robertson Davies 
  20. The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence 
  21. Fugitive Pieces of Anne Michaels
  22. Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan 
  23. The Watch that Ends the Night by Hugh MacLennan 
  24. Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan 
  25. The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy 
  26. Monkey Business by Eden Robinson
  27. The Mountain and the Valley by Ernest Buckler 
  28. Double Hook by Sheila Watson 
  29. Ana Historic by Daphne Marlatt
  30. The Studhorse Man by Robert Kroetsch 
  31. Lives of Short Duration by David Adams Richards 
  32. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt 
  33. Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen 
  34. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood 
  35. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood 
  36. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood 
  37. St. Urbain’s Horsemen by Mordecai Richler 
  38. Solomon Gursky was here by Mordecai Richler
  39. What We All Live For by Dionne Brand 
  40. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  41. Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay 
  42. River Thieves by Michael Crummey
  43. The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore 
  44. Red Dog, Red Dog by Patrick Lane 
  45. February by Lisa Moore 
  46. The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway 
  47. Woodsmen of the West by Martin Allerdale Grainger 
  48. Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King 
  49. Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan 
  50. A Good Man by Guy Vanderhaeghe 
  51. The Englishman’s Boy by Guy Vanderhaeghe 
  52. The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald 
  53. The Wars by Timothy Findley 
  54. The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
  55. Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden 
  56. Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden 
  57. The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston 
  58. Louis Riel: A Comic Biography by Chester Brown 
  59. The Flying Troutsmans by Miriam Toews 
  60. How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired by Dany Laferriere 
  61. Banana Boys by Terry Woo
  62. Dry Lips Oughta Move To Kapuskasing by Tomson Highway
  63. Clara Callan by Richard B. Wright 
  64. The Corrigan Women by M.T. Dohaney 
  65. Downhill Chance by Donna Morrisey 
  66. The Stonecarvers by Jane Urquhart 
  67. The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy 
  68. Ivor Johnson's Neighbours by Bruce Graham 
  69. 419 by Will Ferguson 
  70. Stone Diaries by Carol Shields 
  71. Under This Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell 
  72. The Truth About Death and Dying by Rui Umezawa 
  73. Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards (recommended by T)
  74. Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill (recommended by T) 
Note: Several important works are not included because I have already read them: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Life of Pi, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, Fifth Business, Handmaid's Tale, Who Has Seen the Wind, The Book of Negroes...

No comments:

Post a Comment