Selected by editor Mireille Silcoff, the 2023 edition of Best Canadian Essays showcases the best Canadian nonfiction writing published in 2021.
“Our current, tumultuous age” writes editor Mireille Silcoff, “is an important time for essayists, because in moments of great change, it’s good to have chroniclers with the presence of mind to step back and assess.” Silcoff’s selections for Best Canadian Essays 2023 do just that. In examinations of identity—personal, familial, racial, and cultural—and investigations of the far-reaching shockwaves of war; in mediations on illness and health, belonging and alienation, parents and children; in unexpected arguments about novel-writing, Donald Trump, and the Filet-O-Fish sandwich, the essays gathered here chart all kinds of boundaries, comprising, as Silcoff terms it, “a small bid for understanding that a border, a line drawn, need not be only the beginning or the end of something. That a frontier can be a place—indeed is the best place—for a conversation between sides to begin.”
Featuring works by:
Jamaluddin Aram • Sharon Butala • Kunal Chaudhary • Christopher Cheung • Emma Gilchrist • Michelle Good • Paul Howe • Jane Hu • Heather Jessup • Chafic LaRochelle • Stephen Marche • Kathy Page • Tom Rachman • M.E. Rogan • Allan Stratton • Sarmishta Subramanian
About the author
Mireille Silcoff is the founding editor of Guilt & Pleasure Quarterly, a magazine of new Jewish writing and ideas, and is the author of three books about drug and youth culture. She is a lead columnist with Canada's National Post and a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazineand other publications. She lives in Montreal, and in addition to completing this collection she is working on a memoir about her rare chronic illness.
Praise for the Best Canadian Series
“The wide range of writers, forms and themes represented here make it a great jumping-off point for readers who might be interested in Canadian poetry but are unsure about where to start.”
—Globe and Mail
“A superb collection of national thinkers, crackling with insight on the issues of the age.”
“The arrival, late in the fall each year, of [this] collection is always cause for fanfare.”
—Quill & Quire
“The legacy for Canadian literature in the Best Canadian Stories series can’t be overstated. For years the collection has been the place to discover Canadian writers.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“Best Canadian Stories … combines both emerging and established voices for a fascinating glimpse at the most exciting short fiction coming out of this country.”