Blue Moon Publishers Authors Share Their Favourite Canadian Writers
To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, we asked our Canadian authors for their top three Canadian writers of all time. Their answers were diverse and fascinating, and even introduced us to a few authors we need to check out! Read on for some of our faves:
I adore the works of Lisa Moore. Her spot-on descriptions never fail to place the reader exactly in the mind and soul of the main character. You don’t read a Lisa Moore novel, you see, smell, and taste it.
No matter how many more books I read, Lucy Maude Montgomery will always be on my favourite author list. Anne of Green Gables is the kind of charmingly honest novel about small rural town life you will enjoy no matter what your age. No one has done more for Canadian tourism than this lady.
I practically devoured Kenneth Opal‘s series about young Victor Frankenstein (still waiting for the third book, please!). In this series, and all of his other novels, the voice of the narrator encapsulates an authenticity that allows the reader to believe anything can happen in the story… and anything usually does! Reanimate a corpse? Sure, thing!
Author of Hit the Ground Running
Douglas Coupland — for abstract social commentary with compelling characters in complex relationships, especially those in contemporary Canadian society.
Margaret Atwood — not as much for any particular book, or even her body of work, but for who she is, what she stands for, and her overt Canadian-ness.
Michael Ondaatje — for pure storytelling, and for providing an international, cross-cultural context that somehow acts as a reminder of Canada’s place as a player on the world stage.
Author of NemeSIS
One of my favourite Canadian writers is Miriam Toews. I adore her smart, quirky heroines and love that humour is such an integral part of her novels. Even in the semiautobiographical All My Puny Sorrows, which deals with the desperate topic of suicide, Toews is able to shine some light into the darkness.
Another amazing Canadian writer is Mary Lawson, and I particularly admire how she quietly and astutely draws her characters and sets up conflict. Her crisp writing evokes the distinct northern Ontario settings, which prove as essential to her storylines as the Moors were to Thomas Hardy.
Another all-time favourite writer for me is Lucy Maud Montgomery. Like any red-blooded Canadian girl, I devoured Anne of Green Gables and the sequels. But after recently reading Melanie Fishbane’s wonderful historical fiction novel Maud, I was reminded of these magical books and, with my nine-year-old daughter, am enjoying them all over again. I love that our heroine Anne (and she is indeed Canada’s heroine) is resilient, optimistic, mischievous, and romantic, and that she embraces the joy and beauty of an ordinary life.
Author of Fall In One Day
Guy Vanderhaeghe — I love how his novels weave history and fiction together into rich, layered narratives. But it’s his short fiction that blows my socks off—case in point: the 2015 GG winning Daddy Lenin. His characters are always people I know, and he is amazing at setting a tone in his stories. We grew up in the same province, so when I read his work, I sometimes think he must be reading my mail.
Mordecai Richler — For me, Richler is one of the all-time greatest tellers of tales. His stories are complex, hilarious, and completely wonderful. Solomon Gursky Was Here is one of my top ten favourite novels. I would have loved to shoot a game of pool with him in some dark room in Montreal, or share a dram of scotch and let him tell me stories.
Alice Munro — Every story of hers seems to start quietly, and then before I know it I’m sucked so deep into the narrative that I am literally holding my breath. This happened in my favourite story of hers, “Miles City, Montana.” The foreboding is always there in her stories, and it so suprisingly appears that I wonder how she did it—each story is like its own magic trick. She doesn’t just break the rules around how time works in fiction, she reinvents it. Her work is a masterclass in writing.
Happy 150, Canada!
Who is your favourite Canadian writer of all time?