(*To enter site per se, click the light white CanLit Blog link above, on the black border.) Once you are ‘in’, you can scroll up or down, or go ‘into’ individual entries, scrolling backward or forward by individual entries. ps/Ignore any security warnings when opening images/pictures–this is a safe site. Open any one picture and they all open)
N.B. Clicking on any one picture/photo, opens all the pictures.
Canlitbooks.ca is an ongoing labour-of-love blog project dedicated to displaying and sharing key images and information about pre-21st-century-English-Canadian literature (though some key French-Canadian authors are highlighted), books, and authors. Originally, in the first decade of the new millennium when I began this project, it was intended for book publication, but it then ‘got too big’ and more significant; my collection includes audio-visual items, autographed items (you’ll see many authors’ signatures, photos and rare ephemera, as well as dust-jacketed books), ironically at a time when an audience and demand for such a specialty Canadian project had become smaller, and as the teaching of Canadian literature in schools had begun to decline or simply disappear after a three-decade, high-profile run. There is, then, simply put, a total dearth and absence of such a study resource anywhere out there online.
Notably, many of the unique images here are being displayed online for the first and likely only times. (*These images are, incidentally, my personal photographs or scans of items in my own CanLit collection.) Along the way, too, I will try to provide some basic, core, and interesting details about the writers and the works referenced here so that readers can make their own judgements about who or what interests them.
Chiefly, then, it is my intention to create more public awareness about our country’s earlier literature, and to create more understanding and appreciation of the same. Most Canadians today are simply unfamiliar with Canadian writers and books, especially the older and classic ones. This chronological blog is an online resource to turn to for a handy visual context and overview of our country’s literature, its developments, and important books, writers, and artists.
As such, it is a product of my research and is offered for others’ research, private study, and educational use. It presents information to help others to form their own opinions about the merits and quality of the authors and works discussed or mentioned. (This site is also my Thank-you–a small way of giving back to many English-Canadian authors and artists for all the pleasure and delight I have obtained from my life-long contact with them. It is, thus, in retrospect, an appreciation.)
Most of the authors and books mentioned here have disappeared from memory, and will continue to disappear from memory as will those fewer Canadians still familiar with or interested in them disappear themselves. This blog is mainly a visual literary history and an online way of preserving the memory of these many Canadian books, writers, and artists. It is also hoped, incidentally, that readers of this blog will become more interested in CanLit, pursuing and purchasing titles and works by Canadian authors and artists, old and new, on their own.
Please note: None of the material here is for sale; it is offered for non-commercial use–for educational information, illustration, and study purposes only. The blog is also Read-Only.
Reader questions and responses (as well as missing or correct/ed information) are always welcome and can be directed to me at Richard.Davies@shaw.ca. (If you do not wish for an image to be included here on this totally non-commercial Canadian literary record/overview, ask and it shall be removed.)
*The Addendum that follows this entry features a number of important writers born before 1952 who had been missed in the original lineup which follows 25 entries down/ago. (*If you want to read the entire Addendum in chronological order, that is where you would start.: Feb. 15, 2016.*)
*NB The long main original lineup is also arranged in chronological order, so if you want to read it from start to finish, you need to go back to Oct. 27, 2014.
Some Other Good Canadian Writers (not included in the blog) with Bodies of Work Worth Investigating and Reading Below are some of the other good Canadian writers in my 25 or so textbooks (born in 1952 or earlier) that I was honoured and privileged to select from and to represent their works. They resonated with students and teachers alike, and I sincerely hope they won’t be overlooked or forgotten in the wake of my main chronological blog of more major or important writers. They also represent the many regions and cultures of Canada. (N.B., I have rounded out this list with some other writers born before 1953 I have read and likewise respected.)
Douglas Barbour Arthur Black Christie Blatchford Roberta Bondar Roo Borson George Bowering Harry J. Boyle Barry Broadfoot Charles Bruce Bonnie Burnard
Elspeth Cameron J.M.S. Careless Wayson Choy Lesley Choyce Dennis Cooley Thomas B. Costain Robert Currie
Frank Davey Louis Dudek Gwynne Dyer
Brian Fawcett Sheila Fischman David French Robert Fulford
Connie Gault John Glassco Charles Gordon James Gray Peter Gzowski
Arthur Hailey Anne Hebert Tomson Highway Robert Hilles Hugh Hood James Houston Stephen Hume
Paulette Jiles George Johnston D.G. Jones
Susan Kerslake Glen Kirkland
Gary Lautens Douglas Le Pan Norman Levine Malcolm Lowry
Robert MacNeil Antonine Maillet Eli Mandel Jack McClelland Nellie McClung Florence McNeil Rohinton Mistry Robert Munsch
Desmond Pacey Gilbert Parker Al Pittman
Major John Richardson Erika Ritter Spider Robinson Leon Rooke Andy Russell
Lois Simmie Robin Skelton Ray Smith Steve Smith Glen Sorestad Andrew Suknaski Rosemary Sullivan David Suzuki Anne Szumigalski
Tom Wayman Rudy Wiebe Budge Wilson George Woodcock