Good things from Canada

Dear LifeMy excitement at Alice Munro winning the Nobel Prize was intense, but before I got around to blogging about it, Eleanor Catton won the Man Booker. Now that there are hundreds of holds on The Luminaries it’s probably time to look for something to read while we’re waiting.

If your next read must be from a prize-winning author you can’t go wrong with Alice Munro. You won’t have to wait because four holds is the highest number on any of her books at the moment and most don’t have any – you can pluck them off the shelves.

Munro has been called the ‘Canadian Chekov’ but I find that vaguely patronising – why isn’t Chekov ‘the Russian Munro’? She is, in the words of the Nobel committee, ” the master of the contemporary short story”; she is only the thirteenth woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature; she is actually readable, unlike many other Nobel literature laureates; she is modest and she shares a nationality with lots of other great writers and musicians.

The Margarets (Atwood and Laurence). Carol Shields.  The McGarrigles. Leonard Cohen (musician and writer – after all he did write Beautiful Losers, “the most revolting book ever written in Canada”). Neil Young. K.D. Lang.

And Joni Mitchell, my personal heroine, 70 on the 7th of November 2013.

Who is your favourite Canadian? Writer, musician or ice hockey player? Or politician? Pierre Trudeau passed for a hottie among the Commonwealth Prime Ministers of my youth; mind you he didn’t have much competition.

4 thoughts on “Good things from Canada

  1. Marion 7 November 2013 / 1:08 pm

    Heh – saw Pierre Trudeau in the flesh when he visited Victoria University and like many politicians he was disappointingly short and perma -tanned.
    I approve all the other Canadians plus Gordon Lightfoot. I also have a liking for French Canadian and Cape Breton traditional music ( so shoot me ) and of course – real maple syrup.

  2. Gallivanta 7 November 2013 / 6:48 pm

    Canadians are great. Weren’t they responsible for nominating Lord Rutherford of Nelson for his Nobel Prize? Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell; love them.

  3. purplerulzpurplerulz 8 November 2013 / 9:38 am

    I love Margaret Atwood (who doesn’t)and Carol Shields. I remember being very moved by her book Unless, the kind of book that stays with you for a long time after you read it.
    Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was a pivotal book in my early years, cemented both my love of dystopia and my life long commitment to feminism.

  4. Louise 12 November 2013 / 4:21 pm

    I agree, there are a lot of good Canadian writers. I think Robertson Davies is one of the best novelists of the 20th century – “The Cornish Trilogy” and “The Salterton Trilogy” are both great and both available from Christchurch City Libraries.

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