Thoughts on culture, education, and having been a Canadian in the US
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New course on Women’s Writing from Canada

This is one of the courses I’ll be teaching this spring. It’s new for me, as are a few of the books on the syllabus. Should be fun!
English 180: Women’s Writing from Canada
From the beginnings of Canada’s literary history, women writers have played a key role in the development of that nation’s rich and distinct literary voice. Especially over the last 50 years, it is safe to say that women writers are at the heart of the Canadian literary canon. Writers such as Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Gabrielle Roy, and Margaret Laurence are some of the greatest (and best known) Canada has ever produced. At the same time, writers such as Nicole Brossard, Daphne Marlatt, and Sheila Watson have been on the front lines of innovative writing in Canada. In this course, we’ll look at women writers from across Canada who have paved new ground for the literatures of Canada both in terms of stylistic innovation and Canada’s international literary reputation. Although we’ll be focusing primarily on fiction, we will be reading poetry and some non-fiction throughout the course as well.

Montgomery, LM. Anne of Green Gables (Norton Critical Edition only). 9780393926958
Gabrielle Roy, Street of Riches and The Road Past Altamont
Laurence, Margaret. The Stone Angel.
Watson, Sheila. The Double Hook.
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale
Munro, Alice. Carried Away: Selected Stories.
Brossard, Nicole. Mauve Desert.
Brand, Dionne. What We All Long For.

Robinson, Eden. Monkey Beach.


1 Mark { 12.20.08 at 8:37 pm }

You know, you had me with What We All Long For again, but the Double Hook would still be brutal the second time around. 🙂

2 Mark { 12.20.08 at 8:40 pm }

What about The Stone Diaries? Woman author (Carol Shields) and it is the only book to have won both the Pulitzer and the Governor General’s Award.

3 Paul Martin { 12.20.08 at 10:48 pm }

The Stone Diaries was one of the books I was thinking about. The process of pulling together this list was a really difficult one. I though knocking men off the list for my Can lit course would help me teach more of the books by women that I love to talk about in class. It did, but I’m still barely scratching the surface!

4 Delph B. { 02.02.09 at 5:06 am }

Nice list! An inspirational one to be honest. Glad to see Brand’s novel on, I wanted to teach it last spring but had to settle for Thirsty instead, because What We All Long For had not come out early enough on our side of the pond 😉