With the works of such internationally acclaimed authors as Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Alice Munro and Lawrence Hill, Canada is a force to be reckoned with on the literary stage. The Canadian Encyclopedia includes a variety of articles about literature in Canada, both fiction and non-fiction, gathered by topic in this collection.
The comparative study of the Canadian literatures (which normally means writing in English and French) is of recent origin, the best work dating from the late 1960s. The linguistic situation that exists in Canada is not unlike that of other countries that practice bilingual policies (e.g., Cameroon and Belgium). The problem with language is that it often establishes zones of territoriality, rather than opening lines of communication, and in Canada this situation has profoundly inhibited the comparative study of the country's literatures.
Sport literature became prominent in Britain and North America during the late-19th century. Charles Gordon’s Glengarry School Days (1902) became a prototype for Canadian sport fiction authors such as Leslie McFarlane and Scott Young, who popularized the form in the mid-20th century. Roch Carrier’s “The Hockey Sweater” (1979) and Roy MacGregor’s The Last Season (1983) helped to establish hockey as the central focus of Canadian sport literature, while the work of W.P. Kinsella, George Bowering and W.O. Mitchell brought other sports into the spotlight. Meanwhile, authors such as Priscila Uppal, Angie Abdou, Samantha Warwick and Arley McNeney have challenged male dominance in the genre by depicting female athleticism as normal and natural.
The First World War generated an abundance of writing, which in its entirety presents a complex and varied picture of the war. The popular point of view within Canadian literature, however, generally depicts an overtly patriotic and unified perspective of Canada’s involvement in the war.2
Lawrence Hill, CM, novelist, journalist, educator, documentary writer (born 1957 in Newmarket, ON). Lawrence Hill is one of the most important contributors to Black culture in Canada, and the publication of his internationally acclaimed novel The Book of Negroes (2007) has placed him among Canada's most successful writers. He is a Member of the Order of Canada.
The Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize, awarded by the Writers' Trust of Canada and established in 1997, recognizes Canadian writers of exceptional talent for the year's best work of literary non-fiction. The current prize value is $25 000 and finalists receive $2500 each.
Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian Territories between the Years 1760 and 1776 (New York, 1809; Toronto, 1901) was written by Alexander Henry (the elder), one of the first Britons to venture into western Indigenous territory after the defeat of the French at Québec.