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Home > Catalog > The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature
The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature


  • Page extent: 802 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.4 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 810.9971
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: PR9184.6 .C336 2009
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Canadian literature--History and criticism
    • French-Canadian literature--History and criticism

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521868761)

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published December 2009

In stock

$221.00 (R)

From Aboriginal writing to Margaret Atwood, this is a complete English-language history of Canadian writing in English and French from its beginnings. The multi-authored volume pays special attention to works from the 1960s and after, to multicultural and Indigenous writing, popular literature, and the interaction of anglophone and francophone cultures throughout Canadian history. Established genres such as fiction, drama and poetry are discussed alongside forms of writing which have traditionally received less attention, such as the essay, nature-writing, life-writing, journalism, and comics, and also writing in which the conventional separation between genres has broken down, such as the poetic novel. Written by an international team of distinguished scholars, the volume includes a separate, substantial section discussing major genres in French, as well as a detailed chronology of historical and literary/cultural events, and an extensive bibliography covering criticism in English and French.


Chronology; Introduction Coral Ann Howells and Eva-Marie Kröller; Part I. Old and New World, La Nouvelle-France, the Canadas, Dominion of Canada: 1. Native societies and French colonization Barbara Belyea; 2. Reports from La Nouvelle-France: the Jesuit Relations, Marie de l'Incarnation, and Elisabeth Bégon E. D. Blodgett; 3. Migrations, multiple allegiances and satirical traditions: from Frances Brooke to Thomas Chandler Haliburton Marta Dvořák; 4. Writing in the Northwest: narratives, journals, letters, 1700–1870 Bruce Greenfield; 5. Literature of settlement Carole Gerson; 6. History in English and French, 1832–98 E. D. Blodgett; Part II. The Post-Confederation Period: 7. Post-Confederation poetry D. M. R. Bentley; 8. Writing by Victorian naturalists Christoph Irmscher; 9. Short fiction Gerald Lynch; 10. Bestselling authors, magazines and the international market Michael Peterman; 11. Textual and social experiment in women's genres Janice Fiamengo; 12. Canada and the Great War Susan Fisher; Part III. Models of Modernity, post-World War I: 13. Staging personalities in modernism and realism Irene Gammel; 14. E. J. Pratt and the McGill poets Adrian Fowler; 15. The forties and fifties: signs of cultural change Coral Ann Howells; 16. The Centennial Eva-Marie Kröller; 17. Forms of non-fiction: Innis, McLuhan, Frye and Grant David Staines; Part IV. Aesthetic Experiments, 1960 and After: 18. Quartet: Atwood, Gallant, Munro, Shields Robert Thacker; 19. The short story W. H. New; 20. Canadian drama: performing communities Anne Nothof; 21. Poetry Kevin McNeilly; 22. Poetry, drama and the postmodern novel Ian Rae; 23. Comic art and bande dessinée: from the funnies to graphic novels Jean-Paul Gabilliet; 24. 'Ghost stories': fictions of history and myth Teresa Gibert; 25. Indigenous writing: poetry and prose Lally Grauer and Armand Ruffo; 26. Contemporary aboriginal theater Helen Gilbert; 27. Transcultural life-writing Alfred Hornung; 28. Multiculturalism and globalization Neil ten Kortenaar; Part V. Writing in French: 29. Poetry Robert Yergeau; 30. Drama Jane Moss; 31. Fiction Réjean Beaudoin and André Lamontagne.


"Several of the essays are outstanding. As both the most comprehensive and the most recent treatment, this is the best Canadian literary history available....Handsome and meticulously edited, the book includes illustrations, helpful cross references, a 54-page bibliography organized by topic, and an exhaustive index."

"With the contributions of thirty-two specialists in Canadian studies from Canada and abroad, Howells and Kröller have produced a dense and compact study that will allow readers to take good measure of the cultural factors at work in the development of Canadian writing in English as well as in French, and its evolution from the early days of contact to the present. A detailed chronology of historical and cultural events, a bibliography of selected critical works, and a capacious index complete the volume’s scholarly apparatus....To conclude, the editors of The Cambridge History have been successful in the goals they set themselves, namely complicating reductive readings of Canada’s two linguistic traditions and allowing space for formerly marginalized voices or suppressed histories. The volume maps out fascinating literary ground, both in the near present and the remote past, but it also charts continuities in the ongoing transformations of the national literature. Finally it proceeds to a number of reassessments which testify to the vitality of critical debate in Canadian letters."
--Canadian Literature

"Remarkably for a reference work, it is immensely enjoyable. Many of the chapters, whilst scholarly and detailed, also tell a good story....In sum, this book provides an immensely valuable compass for researchers, orienting them in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing literary field."
--British Journal of Canadian Studies

"For those seeking introduction to Canadian literature, I thorough[ly] recommend this book tha[t] provides a complete history of Canadian writing in English and French from the beginnings....The bibliography and index are excellent. The quality of the contributions is superb and the essays are well written."
--The Historical Association

"Cambridge University Press could not have chosen better editors for its new History of Canadian Literature than Coral Ann Howells and Eva-Marie Kroller. This Cambridge History is a monumental work. Anyone who wants more than the ordinary fare of CanLit will hail this volume for the breadth of its material, often fresh insights, inclusion of neglected writers, the screening of texts against a broader cultural horizon, and the competent presentation of the aesthetic and thematic diversity of Canadian writing of the last five decades."
-Konrad Gross, Anglistik

"...the Cambridge History of Canadian Literature reflects a new confidence in the integrity of its subject...the volume they have produced is quite simply a delight." --Ged Martin, The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Dec 2011

"The History [is] not only an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Canadian literature and culture, but also a joy to read."
--Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen

"The chronology at the beginning is useful for Canadian and non-Canadian readers alike. All the contributors draw from deep wells of scholarship and knowledge ... The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature confirms and broadens the discussion."
--John Lennox, Canadian Woman Studies

"The new Cambridge History of Canadian Literature is an impressive example of revisionism in literary history. It strokes a balance between revising the canon by including texts so far overlooked, rereading and reconfiguring canonical texts, and assessing the literary development of recent decades."
-Jutta Zimmerman, Buchbesprechungen>/i>


Coral Ann Howells, Eva-Marie Kröller, Barbara Belyea, E. D. Blodgett, Marta Dvořák, Bruce Greenfield, Carole Gerson, D. M. R. Bentley, Christoph Irmscher, Gerald Lynch, Michael Peterman, Janice Fiamengo, Susan Fisher, Irene Gammel, Adrian Fowler, David Staines, Robert Thacker, W. H. New, Anne Nothof, Kevin McNeilly, Ian Rae, Jean-Paul Gabilliet, Teresa Gibert, Lally Grauer, Armand Ruffo, Helen Gilbert, Alfred Hornung, Neil ten Kortenaar, Robert Yergeau, Jane Moss, Réjean Beaudoin, André Lamontagne

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