I’m baaaaack! For the past six weeks I’ve been reading like mad for a course in Canadian children’s lit. One of the things that struck me time and time again as we read through this often amazing works of literature is how diversely Canadians write. Sure we can say that Canadian are born in Canada or call Canada home, but beyond these broad geographical realities: what makes a Canadian writer Canadian?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Here are some recent Canadian titles for you to enjoy:
Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Like O’Malley’s other protagonist, Scott Pilgrim, Kate is kind of a self-absorbed jerk. I have to admit I routed for her anyway as she continually struggled to undo past mistakes and open the restaurant of her dreams. Named after herself, obviously. O’Malley draws inspiration from Russian folklore for this standalone graphic novel.
The Girl who was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill
Motherless twins meet 1990s Quebecois politics in this unflinching second novel from the author of Lullabies for Little Criminals. Kirkus Review raved, “vigorous writing makes the book; the story is surprising and satisfying, but the real star is Nouschka and how she tells it.”
American Innovations: Stories by Rivka Galchen
All of the stories in Galchen’s collection are in conversation with stories we already know and love. “The Lost Order” is hanging out with “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and the title story is chatting it up with Gogol’s “The Nose.” If you like fiction that is rewarding in its own right and asks you to revisit past favourites, this volume of short stories is for you.