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Literary Collections Canadian

The Anansi Reader

edited by Lynn Coady

House of Anansi Press Inc
Initial publish date
Oct 2007
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2007
    List Price

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In September 1967, then-unknown writers David Godfrey and Dennis Lee founded a tiny press they grandly named The House of Anansi, after an African trickster spider-god (Godfrey was fresh from a trip to Africa). Their goal was to publish groundbreaking new Canadian work in three core genres: literary fiction, poetry, and topical nonfiction. Jack McClelland, the legendary publisher of McClelland & Stewart, is said to have given the enterprise eighteen months.

Forty years later, Anansi is not only going strong, it is enjoying a fascinating creative renaissance, bolstered in part by the strength of its rich backlist and in part by its renewed independence and commitment to seeking out the best new writers and ideas to publish alongside its established, now iconic ones.

A list of Anansi authors over the past forty years is a veritable who's who of Canadian and international writers. Here, in this impressively curated reader, award-winning writer Lynn Coady has gathered excerpts from forty important and influential books — a mix of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — ten from each decade of the press's existence.

About the author

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.

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Other titles by Lynn Coady