As a Canadian, I always like discovering local authors. We have a few great ones in this nation. Canada brought up some of the best writers in the English language and a couple of French ones worth noting as well. Every now and then, I force myself to get out of my comfort zone – thrillers for me -, and I rarely get disappointed. Some of the following Canadian writers I’ve read and love, some I’ve yet to experience. So let’s try to discover them together. I’m sure you’ve heard of most of them, but, maybe one or two of them are new to you.
Here’s my list of some Canadian authors to discover.
The lady is a classic literature author that is popular worldwide. I mean, who hasn’t heard of The Handmaid’s Tale yet? Although, my favorite book of hers is Alias Grace. I read it years ago, and it still ticks with me today. But since the TV adaptation of her dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, the author has seen a rise in popularity.
She is a new author on the Canadian scene, and her book Every Summer After is her debut novel. It is a fun, light read that makes a great beach read. I just posted a review about it on my September Reads article.
Cree author Michelle Goods’ debut novel Five Little Indians is the book that put her on my radar. I recently snagged a copy at my local second-hand bookstore, but I haven’t read it yet. Good is a lawyer who advocates for residential school survivors.
If you’re not aware of that story, it is one of the most atrocious, heart-wrenching stories in Canadian history. It is worth reading about this part of my heritage, and I invite all of you to join me. For one of the most well-regarded countries in the world, Canada still has a long way to go.
Toronto-based Jennifer Hillier is a Filipino descendant born and raised in Canada. Her thrillers Jar of Hearts and Little Secrets are some of my favorite ones. And her latest, Things We Do in the Dark is on my humongous pile of books I still need to get to.
If you’re like me, most likely you haven’t heard about Anita Kushwaha until now. The reason I happened to stumble upon her latest book, the Secret Lives of Mothers and Daughters, is the pretty cover. Yes, I’m shallow when it comes to book covers. From what I’ve researched, she’s a very accomplished writer and academic. Her articles have been published by The Globe and Mail, The Literary Review of Canada, and many other publications. Her first novel, Side by Side, won the Independent Publisher Book Award in 2019.
Born in southwestern Ontario, Mary Lawson is a distant relative of Anne of Green Gables author, L.M. Montgomery. She has three novels that are set in Northern Ontario, and Crow Lake is on my neverending reading list. I’m hoping I can get to it in the near future because it promises to bring you a literary experience in which you can lose yourself.
Referred to as the Canadian Chekhov, Munro is a short-story Canadian author among the most awarded writers of our times. She had quite a fruitful career, in which she wrote more than a couple of dozen books, and even won a Nobel prize in literature. I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read any of her works yet, but I own a collection of five of her most popular books. The collection includes Runaway, Friend of My Youth, The View From Castle Rock, The Love of a Good Woman, and Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage.
I first discovered Heather O’Neill back in the early 200s, when her debut novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals came out. I didn’t particularly love the story, but the book is very well written. Same with When we Lost Our Heads, her latest book. Although the storylines might not be my favorite, she’s a strong Canadian author that won a few literary prizes in her career.
Another Montrealer, Louise Penny is an award-winning author who made many contributions to the Canadian literary community. Best known for her Inspector Gamache series, I am surprised I have never actually read any of her books yet. I do have her fort one, Still Life on my Kobo, and a couple of paperbacks I shall get to reading soon.
Toronto-based Nita Prose is a long-time editor whose first novel came out early this year. I’ve had The Maid on my to-be-read list for a few months now, but I hear great things about it. Once I read it, I will share my thoughts, but for now, just add her to your list of Canadian authors to discover.
Emily St. John Mandell
West Coast of Canada author Emily St. John Mandel has a few novels under her belt. Her five books have been translated into 34 languages, and her 2014 Station Eleven was nominated for a few awards and won the Morning News Tournament of Books. I recently bought the Glass Hotel and Station Eleven, which I’m hoping to read soon(-ish).
Zoe Whittall is one of my favorite authors I recently discovered. Her first book, The Best Kind of People, is one of the rare five-star books I’ve read in the last few years. Her latest, the Spectacular, I read earlier this year, and I’ve also enjoyed it. I love her writing style, which can be categorized as literary fiction, I assume. She has a strong unapologetic voice which is hard to contend with.
Living in Quebec, I’ve discovered a few great French authors as well. When I immigrated here from Romania I was so happy to have the privilege to be able to read in four languages. I still do today, and I am extremely grateful for that.
Here are some of my favorite local French authors I’ve read, and I absolutely love all of them.
She is a chick-lit guru in the province of Quebec. Her books are light and filled with sarcastic humor, just the way I like them. Pink Bra and Black Jacket was released in 2004, and Gin and Tonic and Cucumber in 2008. I just hope she will publish something again in the near future.
The trilogy Le Gout Du Bonheur is probably the author’s most notable work. It follows a Quebec family through three generations: Gabrielle, Adelaide, and Florent are the tomes you should read by this author.
He is a Montreal author who wrote the Victor Lessard thriller series. The TV adaptation based on his books is a top-rated series in Quebec. I’ve watched it and can attest that it is well done and follows the books closely. Another cool fact is that he used to write in a coffee shop in NDG that I used to frequent when I lived in the neighborhood. So we surely crossed paths, unknowingly at the time! I would’ve loved to pick his brain about his writing process for sure!
This sums up my list of Canadian authors to discover. I might do a different one in the future which might include more than one male! Looking back at the list, I just realized I only included one male writer on this post, but it wasn’t intentional. These are just the authors I had some connection with within the last few months, but there are a few more worth mentioning.
Until next time, keep reading my fellow bookworms.