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5 famous Canadian writers everyone should know about

Looking to choose your next book for reading and wondering which one you should pick? While there are a good number of authors today, you might just want to try going a little offbeat and choose one written by a Canadian author.

Canadian literature is comparatively young, but it has already given the world many famous writers and poets. Who are these authors and what everyone should know about them?

1. Alice Munro

Alice Munro is the author of numerous touching, deep and critical short stories. In 2013 she received the Nobel Prize for Literature. The author narrates in a private and intimate way, entrusting the reader into the deepest corners of the character’s soul. All her works swirl around the balance between love and work. Alice Munro wrote many books about gender roles and social problems. Her most outstanding works are Boys and Girls, How I Met My Husband, The Moons of Jupiter, Free Radicals, A Wilderness Station.

2. Stephen Leacock

Stephen Leacock is famous for his subtle humor and keen observation of comic situations in everyday life. An inexhaustible inventor, he knows how to find the string of the acutely comic situation in the simplest, most ordinary event.

A clever and subtle psychologist, Leacock created a whole gallery of comic characters, showing remarkable observation and high artistic skill. The author has many collections of short stories.

His most popular books are Literary Lapses (1910), Nonsense Novels (1911),  and the Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912).

3. Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje wrote both poetry and novels. His collections of poems The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (1970) and There’s a Trick with a Knife I’m Learning to Do (1978) won the Governor General’s award.

Beside this, Michael is he first Canadian laureate of the Booker Prize (1992). Michael Ondaatje is the author of the famous novel “The English Patient “, which inspired the film with the same name. By the way, the film “The English Patient” won 9 of 12 nominated Academy Awards.

4. Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian writer and poet, one of the main figures in the world literary arena, a modern classic translated into dozens of languages. She is awarded many prestigious awards totaling more than fifty. She got recognized both in Canada and many other countries worldwide. Margaret Atwood won the Booker Prize in 2000 for the novel “The Blind Assassin”. Her most famous works are The Handmaid’s Tale, Cat’s Eye, Alias Grace, Oryx and Crake and Surfacing.

5. Yann Martel

Yann Martel is a famous Canadian fiction writer. He is the author of the famous novel “Life of Pi” which formed the basis of the cult film. This is a fantasy novel describing fantastic adventures of an Indian boy who found himself in one boat with wild animals out in the sea. The writers’ style is easy and playful, but the ideas he brings up are deep and mind stirring.

Which of these authors’ works are you planning to read about first?

 

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Wayne Johnston’s bestseller: The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

Looking for a good Canadian author to read about Newfoundland but don’t know whom to go in for? Wayne Johnston might just be who you are looking for. His work, ‘The Colony of Unrequited Dreams’,  talks about a tale of passion and ambition, set against the backdrop of Newfoundland.

A few words about the author

Born in Goulds, Newfoundland, Wayne Johnston is a popular modern novelist. He was born in 1958. Wayne received education at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. With an English literature degree, he started working for the St. John’s Daily News as  a journalist.

He was doing it for three years but later decided to move to Ottawa. In this new place, he started writing as a career. His first novels appeared already from the time he entered college. Everybody has read his popular works, which includes the likes of The Story of Bobby O’Malley, and The Time of Their Lives.

While his work did get literary awards, the real success came to the writer only after the appearance of his outstanding novel. By the way, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams is the first part of the trilogy about Newfoundland. Wayne Johnston keeps writing and giving lectures on writing and English literature.

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams is not just a Canadian bestseller. Published in the USA, it acquired international popularity. The novel is devoted to Johnston’s motherland – the province of Newfoundland. It is a historical novel portraying a famous Newfoundland politician Joe Smallwood.

Smallwood wanted to do something important for Newfoundlanders. He could not agree that the island is treated like a useless colony, but not a meaningful part of Canada. His teacher from England once said that this island is a place where only unworthy people come to live, and Smallwood is at the bottom of this barrel. The young guy cannot agree with him.

Being 20, quite short and think, he does not look like a hero or even a person who can change his own life, leave aside many people’s lives. But he tries to. Smallwood thinks over a huge mission. He knows that he has come to this world to change it. To change this lost land to the “new found land”. Step by step he moves on, becoming a journalist for a famous New York newspaper.

After this, he became an active union leader sweeping into the political world of intrigues and machinations made by those who have the power.

At that point, people of Newfoundland were put in front of the decision whether to join Canada or become an independent country.

Sure, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams was inspired by historical events, but the author also used his imagination and his own interpretation of human actions and heart. Johnston was only 19 years old when he met Joe Smallwood in real life.

He just started writing as a journalist. Joe Smallwood died in 1991, so the time that passed since their meeting has given Johnston a chance to imagine some of the influences this politician had at his most active period.

In one of his interviews, the writer stated that he always wanted to write a book about Newfoundland, and a book inspiring Newfoundlanders, inspiring them to learn their past and to form their future with firmness and wisdom.

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