Ten years, ten authors, ten critics.
The Canadian Literature Centre/Centre de littérature canadienne reaches into its ten-year archive of Brown Bag Lunch readings to sample some of the most diverse and powerful voices in contemporary Canadian literature.
This anthology offers readers samples from some of Canada’s most exciting writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Each selection is introduced by a brief essay, serving as a point of entry into the writer’s work. From the east coast of Newfoundland to Kitamaat territory on British Columbia’s central coast, there is a story for everyone, from everywhere. True to Canada’s multilingual and multicultural heritage, these ten writers come from diverse ethnicities and backgrounds, and work in multiple languages, including English, French, and Cree.
Ying Chen | essay by Julie Rodgers Lynn Coady | essay by Maïté Snauwaert Michael Crummey | essay by Jennifer Bowering Delisle Caterina Edwards | essay by Joseph Pivato Marina Endicott | essay by Daniel Laforest Lawrence Hill | essay by Winfried Siemerling Alice Major | essay by Don Perkins Eden Robinson | essay by Kit Dobson Gregory Scofield | essay by Angela Van Essen Kim Thúy | essay by Pamela V. Sing
About the authors
Marie Carrière dirige le Centre de littérature canadienne de l’Université de l’Alberta, où elle enseigne aussi en études anglaises, françaises et comparées. En 2012 a paru sa deuxième monographie, Médée protéiforme, aux Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa ; elle a rassemblé, avec Patricia Demers, les textes de Régénérations : écriture des femmes au Canada (University of Alberta Press, 2014).
Curtis Gillespie has written four books, including the memoir Playing Through: A Year of Life and Links Along the Scottish Coast, and the novel Crown Shyness. He has won numerous awards for his fiction and non-fiction, including the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and three National Magazine Awards. His journalism has been widely published, and he is the editor and co-founder of Eighteen Bridges magazine. He lives in Edmonton with his wife and two daughters.
Jason Purcell is a graduate student at the University of Alberta in the Department of English and Film Studies. He is the Communications Officer for the Canadian Literature Centre/ Centre de littérature canadienne at the University of Alberta, the Circulation Coordinator for Eighteen Bridges magazine, and the Manuscript Coordinator at NeWest Press.
Lynn Coady is a novelist and essayist whose fiction has been garnering acclaim since her first novel, Strange Heaven, was published and subsequently nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction when she was twenty-eight. Her short story collection Hellgoing won the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada’s most prestigious literary award, for which her novel The Antagonist was also nominated in 2011. Her books have been published in the UK, US, Holland, France, and Germany. Coady has been a journalist, magazine editor, and advice columnist, and is currently writing for television. She divides her time between Edmonton and Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @Lynn_Coady.
Ying Chen left her native Shanghai and settled in Montreal in 1991. Her first novel, La mémoire de l’eau was published by Leméac in 1992. Subsequent novels include the award-winning Les Lettres chinoises (Leméac, 1993); L’ingratitude (Leméac, 1995), Immobile (Boréal, 1998) which won the Prix Alfred-DesRochers 1999), Un enfant à ma porte (Boréal, 2008) and La rive est loin (Boréal, 2013). Chen lives in Vancouver.
Michael Crummey is the author of four books of poetry, and a book of short stories, Flesh and Blood. His first novel, River Thieves, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, his second, The Wreckage, was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His most recent novel, the bestselling Galore, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. Under the Keel is his first collection in a decade. He lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Jennifer Bowering Delisle (she/her) is the author of the lyric family memoir The Bosun Chair (NeWest 2017). She is a settler living in Edmonton/ Amiskwacîwâskahican/ Treaty 6 territory.
Jennifer Bowering Delisle’s lyric family memoir The Bosun Chair was published with NeWest press in 2017. She has a PhD in English, and is also the author of The Newfoundland Diaspora: Mapping the Literature of Outmigration. She joined the board of NeWest in 2018, and regularly teaches creative writing at the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension. She is a settler living in Edmonton/ Amiskwacîwâskahican/ Treaty 6 territory with her husband and two young children.
Kit Dobson is an assistant professor of Canadian literature at Calgary’s Mount Royal University. He is the author of [http://www.wlupress.wlu.ca/Catalog/dobson.shtml Transnational Canadas: Anglo-Canadian Literature and Globalization] (WLU Press, 2009).
Smaro Kamboureli is a Canada Research Chair in Critical Studies in Canadian Literature at the University of Guelph. Her publications include Retooling the Humanities: The Culture of Research in Canadian Universities, co-edited with Daniel Coleman (2011), [http://www.wlupress.wlu.ca/Catalog/kamboureli-miki.shtml Trans.Can.Lit: Resituating the Study of Canadian Literature], co-edited with Roy Miki (WLU Press, 2007), and [http://www.wlupress.wlu.ca/Catalog/kamboureli.shtml Scandalous Bodies: Diasporic Literature in English Canada] (2000; WLU Press, 2009), which won the Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian Criticism. She is the editor of Making a Difference: Canadian Multicultural Literature in English Canada (1996, 2006).
Caterina Edwards was born in England of an English father and an Italian mother. She holds a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Alberta and has taught Canadian literature and creative writing at post-secondary institutions in Edmonton, where she currently lives. In 1997-98, she was the writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta. Her books include the short story collection Island Of The Nightingales.
Marina Endicott’s second novel, Good to a Fault, was winner of the regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book Award, Canada and the Caribbean, a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and one of The Globe and Mail’s Top 100 Books of 2008. Her debut novel, Open Arms, was a finalist for the 2001 Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award and broadcast on CBC Radio’s Between the Covers. Endicott’s stories have been featured in Coming Attractions and shortlisted for the Journey Prize and the Western Magazine Awards. She was born in Golden, BC and grew up in Vancouver, Nova Scotia and Toronto. She has been an actor, director, playwright and editor, and was Dramaturge of the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre for many years. She lives in Edmonton.
LAWRENCE HILL is a professor of creative writing at the University of Guelph. He is the author of ten books, including The Illegal; The Book Of Negroes; Any Known Blood; and Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada. He is the winner of various awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize, and is a two-time winner of CBC Radio’s Canada Reads. Hill delivered the North America-wide 2013 Massey Lectures, based on his non-fiction book Blood: The Stuff of Life. He co-wrote the adaptation for the six-part television miniseries The Book of Negroes, which attracted millions of viewers and won eleven Canadian Screen Awards. The recipient of nine honorary doctorates from Canadian universities, Hill served as chair of the jury of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize. He is a volunteer with Book Clubs for Inmates and the Black Loyalist Heritage Society, and is an honorary patron of Crossroads International, for which he has volunteered for more than thirty-five years and with which he has travelled to Niger, Cameroon, Mali, and Swaziland. A 2018 Berton House resident in Dawson City, he is working on a new novel about the African-American soldiers who helped build the Alaska Highway in northern B.C. and Yukon in 1942–43. He is a Member of the Order of Canada, has been inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame, and in 2019 was named a Canada Library and Archives Scholar. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario, and in Woody Point, Newfoundland.
Daniel Laforest is Associate Professor at the University of Alberta where he teaches Quebec and Canadian literatures, as well as French literature, cultural studies and critical theory. He has been Fulbright fellow at the Centre for Cultural Studies of the University of California Santa Cruz. He serves as associate editor for the academic journal Canadian Literature.
Alice Major emigrated from Scotland at the age of eight, and grew up in Toronto before coming west to work as a weekly newspaper reporter. She served as the City of Edmonton’s first poet laureate from 2005–2007. Among her previous books are Memory's Daughter, for which she won the Stephan G. Stephansson Award in 2011; The Occupied World; and The Office Tower Tales, for which she won the Pat Lowther Award in 2009. In 2010, she received a lifetime achievement award, presented by the City of Edmonton and the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton.
Don Perkins is a lecturer in the department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, and has also taught for the Drama department and the Faculty of Native Studies. He teaches and publishes in the areas of non-fiction writing, Canadian drama, popular culture, literature and history, and Native literature.
Julie Rodgers is a lecturer in French at Maynooth University, Ireland. She teaches and publishes on contemporary women’s writing and film in French. She has published two articles on Ying Chen to-date, with a third forthcoming in a special issue of Quebec Studies in 2015.
Joseph Pivato has been a Professor of English and Humanities at Athabasca for many years, and has also been Visiting Professor at other universities. In 1984-85 he was Research Fellow in the Ethnic and Immigration Studies Program at the University of Toronto. In 1987-88 he was the M.A. Elia Chair in Italian-Canadian Studies at York University and taught the first course on Italian-Canadian writing offered anywhere. In 1991 he was The Canadian Visiting Fellow at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. On these occasions he was able to do original research in Ethnic Minority Writing and the History of Italian-Canadian writing. His books include: Contrasts: Comparative Essays on Italian-Canadian Writing (Guernica, 1985), Echo: Essays on Other Literatures (1994) and The Anthology Of Italian-canadian Writing (Guernica, 1998). He was one of the writers included in Pier Giorgio Di Cicco'sRoman Candles (1978).
Eden Robinson is the internationally acclaimed author of Traplines, Monkey Beach, and Blood Sports. Traplines was the winner of the New York Times Notable Book of the Year and Britain's Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize. Monkey Beach was nominated for the Giller Prize, the 2000 Governor General's Award for Fiction, and was selected as the Globe and Mail's Editor's Choice. Robinson is a member of the Haisla and Heiltsuk First Nations.
Gregory Scofield is one of Canada's leading Aboriginal writers whose five collections of poetry have earned him both a national and international audience. He is known for his unique and dynamic reading style that blends oral storytelling, song, spoken word and the Cree language. His maternal ancestry can be traced back to the fur trade and to the Metis community of Kinosota, Manitoba, which was established in 1828 by the Hudson's Bay Company. His paternal ancestry is Jewish, Polish and German that is reflective of the immigrant experience to Canada at the turn of the century. His poetry and memoir, Thunder Through My Veins (HarperCollins, 1999) is taught at numerous universities and colleges throughout Canada and the U.S., and his work has appeared in many anthologies. He was the subject of a feature length documentary, Singing Home The Bones: A Poet Becomes Himself (The Maystreet Group, 2007) that aired on CHUM TV, BRAVO!, APTN, and the Saskatchewan Television Network. He has served as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Manitoba and Memorial University of Newfoundland. His latest collection, kipocihkan: Poems New & Selected (Nightwood) and the re-publication of I Knew Two Metis Women, along with the companion CD (Gabriel Dumont Institute) will be released in spring 2009. As well, his third collection of poetry, Love Medicine and One Song will be re-released by Kegedonce Press in 2009. He currently lives in Maple Ridge, B.C.
Winfried Siemerling est titulaire de chaire de recherche et professeur de littérature anglaise à l’Université de Waterloo. Il est affilié à l’Institut de recherches W. E. B. Du Bois de l’Université Harvard. Il est l’auteur de The New North American Studies et a codirigé le collectif Canada and Its Americas: Transnational Navigations.
Pamela V. Sing is Director of the Institut d’études canadiennes/Institute of Canadian Studies at Campus Saint-Jean, the University of Alberta’s francophone campus, and Associate Director of the Canadian Literature Centre/Centre de littérature canadienne at the University of Alberta. She teaches French, Québec, and Franco-Canadian literature at Campus Saint-Jean and is the co-editor of Impenser la francophonie: Recherches, renouvellement, diversité, identité with Estelle Dansereau (Campus Saint-Jean, 2012). Her research focuses on Franco-Canadian and Québécois writers, as well as Canadian and American writers of Franco-Métis ancestry.
Maïté Snauwaert holds a PhD in French Literature from Université Paris 8. In Canada since 2004, she has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre de recherche sur le texte et l’imaginaire Figura at the Université du Québec à Montréal, at the CRILCQ/Université de Montréal, and at McGill University (Marie-Thérèse Reverchon scholarship). She is an assistant professor at the Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta.
Angela Van Essen is a PhD candidate in the English and Film Studies department at the University of Alberta where she is writing a dissertation on contemporary Cree bilingual literature. She has taught English courses at The King’s University and at the University of Alberta and published on Indigenous writers in Canada.
- Runner-up, Independent Publisher Awards, Anthology
#6 on the Edmonton Journal's Non-fiction Bestsellers list for the week of October 28, 2016 The Edmonton Journal
The Edmonton Journal
"[A] compilation of excerpts of creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry.... Each of the ten featured works is preceded by a critic’s essay, giving sharp insight into this transcultural anthology and further contextualizing individual works for the reader. The selections...are...preoccupied...with the relationship between spatiality, geography, and Canadian identity. Displacement and journeying—the impulse to search for the self—are most clearly seen in the anthology’s latter works." Canadian Literature 233 (Summer 2017) [Full review at http://canlit.ca/article/landscapes-of-the-mind]
"...the collection is ideal for students and teachers of Canadian Literature at the high school or undergraduate levels, but would also be a useful resource for any active, engaged reader.... Overall, it imparts the impression of a vibrant, lively Canadian literature ranging widely in interests and preoccupations. The editors have been careful to select a diverse range of writers.... The net impact of this slim volume is to force a reconsideration of who in the world of Canadian literature is canonical and worthy of sustained, thoughtful examination. Every writer selected lives up to this standard.... [the] collection functions as something of a sampler pack of some of the most interesting writers working in Canada today."
Event Poetry and Prose, 46.1
Other titles by Marie Carrière
All the Feels / Tous les sens
Affect and Writing in Canada / Affect et écriture au Canada
Metafeminist Practices in Canada
Writing Beyond the End Times? / Écrire au-delà de la fin des temps “
The Literatures of Canada and Quebec / Les littératures au Canada et au Québec
The Burgess Shale
The Canadian Writing Landscape of the 1960s
Les littératures franco-canadiennes à l’épreuve du temps
Regenerations / Régénérations
Canadian Women's Writing / Écriture des femmes au Canada
Un art de vivre par temps de catastrophe
Writing in the Feminine in French and English Canada
A Question of Ethics
Other titles by Curtis Gillespie
Other titles by Jason Purcell
Other titles by Lynn Coady
Other titles by Ying Chen
Other titles by Michael Crummey
Most of What Follows is True
Places Imagined and Real
New and Selected Poems
Brick Books Classics 5
David Blackwood: Prints of Newfoundland
Under the Keel special hardcover edition
The Breakwater Book of Contemporary Newfoundland Poetry
Under the Keel
Other titles by Jennifer Bowering Delisle
Other titles by Kit Dobson
Field Notes on Listening
All the Feels / Tous les sens
Affect and Writing in Canada / Affect et écriture au Canada
Undoing Discipline in the Humanities Classroom
Wisdom in Nonsense
Invaluable Lessons from My Father
Deciphering Shopping in Canada
Producing Canadian Literature
Authors Speak on the Literary Marketplace
Transnationalism, Activism, Art
Please, No More Poetry
The Poetry of derek beaulieu
Anglo-Canadian Literature and Globalization
Other titles by Caterina Edwards
Other titles by Marina Endicott
Other titles by Lawrence Hill
Other titles by Daniel Laforest
Other titles by Alice Major
Other titles by Joseph Pivato
Almond Wine and Fertility
Comparative Literature for the New Century
Building on a Literary Identity
Essays on Her Works
Essays on George Elliott Clarke
Pier Giorgio Di Cicco
Essays on His Works
Writing the Terrain
Travelling Through Alberta with the Poets
Essays on Other Literatures
Other titles by Eden Robinson
Other titles by Gregory Scofield
asowacikanisa: A Guide to Small Métis Bags
Thunder Through My Veins
Conversations about Indigenous Manhood
Witness, I Am
Indigenous Men and Masculinities
Legacies, Identities, Regeneration
A Guide to Northern-Style Métis Moccasins
The Heretic Poems
Under god's pale bones
A Beginner’s Guide to Métis Floral Beadwork
Poems New and Selected
Other titles by Winfried Siemerling
Les écritures noires du Canada
L'Atlantique noir et la présence du passé
The Black Atlantic Reconsidered
Black Canadian Writing, Cultural History, and the Presence of the Past
Récits nord-américains d'émergence:cultu
Canada & Its Americas
Canada and Its Americas
Cross-Cultural Consciousness in Canadian and Quebecois Literature
Discoveries of the Other
Alterity in the Work of Leonard Cohen, Hubert Aquin, Michael Ondaatje, and Nicole Brossard