O Canadian Books!

1 Jul

My favourite Canadian place

Living outside of Canada makes me feel more patriotic and folksy than usual. Suddenly I’m all bunny-hug this and Being Erica that. But circumstances outside (ok, within) my control rendered me unable (ok, unwilling) to attend the official London Canada Day festivities at Trafalgar Square and the less official festivities at Canuck watering hole the Maple Leaf.  So instead I celebrated “A Part of Our Heritage” by soliciting shout-outs for Canadian books on Twitter. It’s what brave-but-sort-of-boring pioneer authoress Susanna Moodie would have wanted!

There were some very clear favourites throughout the day: Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Carol Shields, and Robertson Davies got the lion’s share of Twitter love. There were also nods to Visible Amazement by Gale Zoe Garnett, Stanley Park by Timothy Taylor, Lives of the Saints by Nino Ricci, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler, The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay, The End of the Alphabet by CS Richardson, Nox by Anne Carson, and King Leary by Paul Quarrington.

I also appreciated a showing of good old fashioned support for Canadiana classics like Mavis Gallant, Margaret Laurence, and Stephen Leacock (although Sunshine Sketches never really did it for me). I was pretty surprised not to see anyone mention L.M. Montgomery, but I’m sure we all tweeted her in our hearts.

To put a beaver tail on the top of a lovely day, I was proud to feel at least partly responsible for Twitter fanatic @MargaretAtwood herself retweeting my lovely friend’s offering:

And then I got my very own Canada Day present:

Please feel free to keep my strictly indoor party going with any other Canadian books and authors you’ve always loved or feel are worthy of more attention. And keep it clean, this isn’t the CBC.ca comments section.

18 Responses to “O Canadian Books!”

  1. Sonja at 3:22 am #

    Awww, yay for your Canada Day present! Very cool.

    Also, I love the picture of your favourite Canadian place, which just happens to be my favourite place too. And is that a little cousin I see in the far right corner?

    • Lija at 6:14 pm #

      My second favourite Canadian place is Fran’s.

  2. melanie at 4:11 am #

    Wow – that must have made you feel really great! A couple of my favourite Canadian books are As for Me and My House by Sinclair Ross and Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan. I could probably name a dozen though – for more modern fare I thought The Birth House by Ami McKay was wonderful.

    • Lija at 1:25 pm #

      Thanks, it was a twitterer’s dream come true :) I also liked The Birth House, although I read it way before my blogging days.

  3. Bill at 6:52 am #

    A great post Lija. I enjoyed it. Being overseas for almost 2 years now has also made me a bit nostalgic for the pine forests, lakes, and wide open spaces of home. My Canada Day was topped off by a 54-51 Rider victory over the Alouettes in another barnburner of a game at Mosaic Stadium. After politely trying to follow and enjoy the World Cup “football” matches I have to say they don’t come close to CFL games in terms of watchability and excitement. As for CanLit favourites I noticed the absence from your list of Guy Vanderhaegh (or however he spells it)whose books I really enjoyed. I don’t understand the Tweeter world but it sounds like something exciting happened there for you so congrats!

    • Lija at 1:21 pm #

      Close, only one ‘e’ missing off the end of Vanderhaeghe! I think I’ve only read his short stories, but I might have to give The Last Crossing a try.

  4. Elly at 9:41 am #

    Thank you so much for this, Lija – being retweeted by Ms Atwood was a teenage nerd dream come true!

    • Lija at 1:19 pm #

      Wasn’t it? It made for a special Canada Day even though I didn’t watch fireworks or even leave my house.

  5. Lija at 1:27 pm #

    Oh, we have a late Twitter addition: Lori Lansens (even though she now lives in LA, I’ll allow it).

  6. Riff Randell at 3:21 pm #

    Awww, I love this!!! Yay for Twitter love and Canada and whatnot. My favorite Canadian place is Covehead, Prince Edward Island. My second favorite is probably Sushi on Bloor. Or my couch, sitting with kitten (yes, I still have Orla after many cities and even more apartments… she’s 6 now!!!)

    I have many well-loved Canuck authors… Timothy Findley, Alistair MacLeod, Michael Ondaatje (just not “The English Patient”!), Heather O’Neill (still a new writer but damn I loved “Lullabies for Little Criminals”.)

    Wow, check out all these exclamation points. Clearly I’m stoked.

  7. Margo at 12:41 am #

    Holy bunny hug, I just saw this – bloody amazing!

  8. TheIntentionalSage at 12:59 am #

    It’s so wonderful to see Canadians supporting Canadians. I love that there is a (law?) or what seems at least like a mandate, that there needs to be at least a certain amount of Canadian content in a bookstore like Chapters.

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

  9. farmlanebooks at 10:22 am #

    Happy Canada Day! I have a real soft spot for Canadian authors too. My favourite is Rohinton Mistry :-)

    It is great that you got a RT from Margaret Atwood – enjoy that warm glow for as long as you can!!

  10. Lija at 3:39 pm #

    @Riff Isn’t it nice that it’s not at all hard to come up with all of those good authors? How’s that English Patient thing going, anyway?

    @Margo ‘Holy bunny-hug’ is definitely going to be my next big saying. I will not stop trying to make it happen.

    @farmlanebooks All non-Canadian contributions are very much appreciated :)

  11. Buried In Print at 1:50 pm #

    Congrats on the retweet! Also, Hiromi Goto (Half World), Nalo Hopkinson (Midnight Robber), Helen Humphreys (The Lost Garden), Joan Barfoot (Exit Lines), Gabrielle Roy (Windflower), Wayne Johnston (The Colony of Unrequited Dreams), Barbara Gowdy (The White Bone), Thomas King (Green Grass Running Water), Miriam Toews (A Complicated Kindness), Sharon Butala (Garden of Eden), Nairne Holtz (The Skin Beneath), Nicolas Dickner’s Emma Donoghue (Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins), Katherine Govier (Tales from Brunswick Avenue), Bronwen Wallace (People You’d Trust Your Life To), M.G. Vassanji (When She Was Queen), Anar Ali (Baby Khaki’s Wings). And, you know I’m going to say Ethel Wilson (Swamp Angel or The Innocent Traveller)!

    • Lija at 4:27 pm #

      Whew! These are some fantastic additions to the list. I may just have to take you up on your Ethel Wilson encouragement – I’d completely forgotten reading (and liking) ‘Haply the Soul of My Grandmother’ until I was reminded on your blog.


  1. Tweets that mention O Canadian Books! « the Writer's Pet -- Topsy.com -

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by h stuart allen. h stuart allen said: RT @writerspet: My #canadadaybooks round-up is at http://bit.ly/axM0lg. Thanks for playing, everyone! […]

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