March 05, 2016

52 Novels that make you proud to be Canadian

Canada has a wealth of writers telling today’s tales, revisiting our past and imagining our future. Literary or mystery, comic or graphic, historical or out of this world, Alloway library presents 52 novels from CBC Books's list of 110 must-read books.

CBC Books considered everything from cultural impact and critical reception to reader response to choose these titles. The authors all call or once called Canada home, and the novels are all in print and available from Alloway Library. Enjoy!

(As if you need a novel to make you proud of being a Canadian.)

Click on the title to view more information, or to place a hold on any of these titles.

In this astonishing tour de force, Margaret Atwood takes the reader back in time and into the life and mind of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the nineteenth century
Anne of Green Gables
As for me and my house 
Ross leaves it to us to decide whether our narrator is sincere or deceptive, shrewdly aware or deep in denial, as she chronicles her interactions with her husband, the townspeople, and the false fronts which surround them.
Away  The narrative unfolds with shimmering clarity, and takes us from the harsh northern Irish coast in the 1840s to the quarantine stations at Grosse Isle and the barely hospitable land of the Canadian Shield
Barney's Version  a major Richler novel, the most personal and feeling book of a long and distinguished career.
Beautiful Losers
The Book of Negroes
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and WeptOne day, while browsing in a London bookshop, Elizabeth Smart chanced upon a slim volume of poetry by George Barker - and fell passionately in love with him through the printed word.
A complicated kindness :a novel
Crow Lake A
 shimmering tale of love, death and redemption set in a rural northern community where time has stood still. Tragic, funny and unforgettable, this deceptively simple masterpiece about the perils of hero worship leapt to the top of the bestseller lists only days after being released in Canada
The Cure for Death by Lightning
The Double Hook  "Even God's eye could not spy out the men lost here already, Ara thought. He had looked mercifully on the people of Nineveh though they did not know their right hand and their left. But there were not enough people here to attract his attention. The cattle were scrub cattle. The men lay like sift in the cracks of the earth."
Elizabeth and After This three-generational story of passion and subterfuge is limned with Matt Cohen's gift for language and a narrative tension that embraces descriptions of astonishing beauty and power.
The Englishman's Boy  
brilliantly links together Hollywood in the 1920s with one of the bloodiest, most brutal events of the nineteenth-century Canadian West - the Cypress Hills Massacre.
Fifth Business
A Fine Balance follows the lives of four unlikely people as they struggle "to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair."
Fugitive Pieces
a wholly unforgettable novel that draws us into the lives of its characters with compassion and recognition
Funny Boy
Generation X : tales for an accelerated culture 

Douglas Coupland's acclaimed salute to the generation born in the late 1950s and 1960s
Green Grass, Running Water
The Handmaid's Tale
The Hero's Walk 
traces the terrain of family and forgiveness through the lives of an exuberant cast of characters bewildered by the rapid pace of change in today's India
In the Skin of a Lion
Indian Horse 
a marvellous journey of imagination back through the life he led as a northern Ojibway, with all its sorrows and joys.
The Jade Peony 
Chinatown, Vancouver, in the late 1930s and ë40s provides the setting for this poignant first novel, told through the vivid and intense reminiscences of the three younger children of an immigrant family.
Kamouraska
Late Nights on Air 
Life of Pi 

a masterful and utterly original novel that is at once the story of a young castaway who faces immeasurable hardships on the high seas, and a meditation on religion, faith, art and life that is as witty as it is profound.
The Luminaries 
Mercy Among the Children 
concerning itself with good and evil and the human freedom to choose between them — an approach that puts Richards, as Maclean’s magazine says, firmly in the tradition of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.
The Mistress of Nothing a lady's maid's awakening as she journeys from the confines of Victorian England to the uncharted far reaches of Egypt's Nile Valley
Never cry wolf  Farley Mowat discovers not a den of marauding killers but a courageous family of skillful providers and devoted protectors of their young.
No Great Mischief The sprawling story of one Scottish clan, the MacDonalds, who come to Cape Breton from Scotland in the 18th century and struggle valiantly to maintain their pride and identity up through the end of the millennium.
Not wanted on the voyage The story of the great flood and the first time the world ended, filed with an extraordinary cast of remarkable characters
Obasan the moving story of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War.
Oryx and Crake
The Outlander A classic in Québec literature,
Ru An unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new life in Quebec.
Une saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel
The Sisters Brothers 

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town One of Canada’s classic works of literature, and perhaps its most complex work of satire.
The Stone Angel One of the most memorable characters in Canadian fiction: Hagar Shipley is stubborn, querulous, self-reliant, and, at ninety, with her life nearly behind her, she makes a bold last step towards freedom and independence.
The Stone Diaries 
Swamp Angel F
irst appeared in 1954, it remains an astute and powerful study of one woman’s integrity and of the redemptive power of compassion.
Sweetness in the Belly A rich tapestry of one woman’s quest to maintain faith and love through revolution, upheaval and the alienation of life in exile.
 Three Day Road An impeccably researched and beautifully written story that offers a searing reminder about the cost of war.
The Time in Between In search of love, absolution, or forgiveness, Charles Boatman leaves the Fraser Valley of British Columbia and returns mysteriously to Vietnam, the country where he fought twenty-nine years earlier as a young, reluctant soldier.
The tin flute This moving story focuses on a family in the Saint-Henri slums of Montreal, its struggles to overcome poverty and ignorance, and its search for love.
Two Solitudes is the powerful saga of Athanase Tallard, the son of an aristocratic French-Canadian tradition, of Kathleen, his beautiful Irish wife, and of their son Paul, who struggles to establish a balance in himself and in the country he calls home.
The Wars "Make your prayers against despair. I am alive in everything I touch. Touch these pages and you have me in your fingertips. We survive in one another. Everything lives forever. Believe it. Nothing dies. "
Who has seen the wind?
One of the finest Canadian novels ever written

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