Home Browse Imprints and Partners Join Our Email List For Authors About Us Contact Us

History of Literature in Canada


Availability  Available


Buy E-Book

Add to Wish List

From modest colonial beginnings, literature in Canada has arrived at the center stage of world literature. Works by English-Canadian writers -- both established writers such as Margaret Atwood and new talents such as Yann Martel -- make regular appearances on international bestseller lists. French-Canadian literature has also found its own voice in the North American and francophone worlds. "CanLit" has likewise developed into a staple of academic interest, pursued in Canadian Studies programs in Canada and around the world. This volume draws on the expertise of scholars from Canada, Germany, Austria, and France, tracing Canadian literature from the indigenous oral tradition to the development of English-Canadian and French-Canadian literature since colonial times. Conceiving of Canada as a single but multifaceted culture, it accounts for specific characteristics of English- and French-Canadian literatures, such as the vital role of the short story in English Canada or that of the chanson in French Canada. Yet special attention is also paid to Aboriginal literature and to the pronounced transcultural, ethnically diverse character of much contemporary Canadian literature, thus moving clearly beyond the traditions of the two founding nations.

Contributors: Reingard M. Nischik, Eva Gruber, Iain M. Higgins, Guy Laflèche, Dorothee Scholl, Gwendolyn Davies, Tracy Ware, Fritz Peter Kirsch, Julia Breitbach, Lorraine York, Marta Dvorak, Jerry Wasserman, Ursula Mathis-Moser, Doris G. Eibl, Rolf Lohherrill Grace, Caroline Rosenthal, Martin Kuester, Nicholas Bradley, Anne Nothof, Georgiana Banita, Gilles Dupuis, and Andrea Oberhuber.

Reingard M. Nischik is Professor of American Literature at the University of Constance, Germany.


An ambitious project ... a broad literary history which ... [is] an excellent research tool for younger students as well as more established scholars.... The breadth of the work along with the resources it provides makes it an important addition to academic libraries. BRITISH JOURNAL OF CANADIAN STUDIES

This "transatlantic" adaptation of Kanadische Literaturgeschichte is really a new volume aimed at the international market. The 11 French Canadian and English Canadian scholars' contributions are completely new; those of the 12 German scholars are either new or revised and updated. North American readers will be interested in the conjunction of European and North American perspectives. CHOICE

This is a long overdue joint history of the literatures in Canada that will be extremely helpful to both students and scholars in the field....The book admirably combines ... the advantages of a compendium and a chronologically arranged literary history. In particular, the inclusion of both anglophone and francophone literatures is an asset that can hardly be stressed enough in its importance. ZEITSCHRIFT FUER KANADA-STUDIEN

Given its international origins and the diversity of its subject matter and contributors, History of Literature in Canada speaks with a remarkable unity of tone and narrative clarity. The chapters are universally competent, readable, well-researched, and informative. Many are also the most concise and incisive treatments of their subjects available to contemporary readers.... numerous interesting similarities and contrasts can be gleaned from comparative readings of chapters on contemporaneous literatures in French and English. CANADIAN LITERATURE

[A] welcome addition to this field. . . . For anyone - in the field already or new to it, looking at Canadian literature for itself or as a point of reference for other studies (like modern fiction, women's fiction, or children's literature), the approach this book takes is informative and helpful. REFERENCE REVIEWS


First Published: 01 Nov 2008
13 Digit ISBN: 9781571133595
Pages: 618
Size: 9 x 6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: Camden House
BIC Class: DS

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


  • 1  Introduction: Writing a History of Literature in Canada
  • 2  Aboriginal Oral Traditions
  • 3  The Whites Arrive: White Writing before Canada, 1000-1600
  • 4  Historical Background
  • 5  Literature on New France
  • 6  Colonial Literature in New France
  • 7  Historical Overview
  • 8  English-Canadian Colonial Literature
  • 9  French-Canadian Colonial Literature under the Union Jack
  • 10  English-Canadian Literature, 1867-1918: The Making of a Nation
  • 11  French-Canadian Literature from National Soladarity to the École littéraire de Montréal
  • 12  Politics and Literature between Nationalism and Internationalism
  • 13  English-Canadian Poetry, 1920-1960
  • 14  The English-Canadian Novel and the Displacement of the Romance
  • 15  The Modernist English-Canadian Short Story
  • 16  Early English-Canadian Theater and Drama
  • 17  French Canada from the First World War to 1967: Historical Overview
  • 18  French-Canadian Poetry up to the 1960s
  • 19  The French-Canadian Novel between Tradition and Modernism
  • 20  The French-Canadian Short Story
  • 21  French-Canadian Drama from the 1930s to the Révolution tranquille
  • 22  Socio-Political and Cultural Developments from 1967 to the Present
  • 23  English-Canadian Literary Theory and Literary Criticism
  • 24  The English-Canadian Novel from Modernism to Postmodernism
  • 25  The English-Canadian Short Story since 1967: Between (Post)Modernism and (Neo)Realism
  • 26  English-Canadian Poetry from 1967 to the Present
  • 27  Contemporary English-Canadian Drama and Theater
  • 28  Canons of Diversity in Contemporary English-Canadian Literature
  • 29  Literature of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis
  • 30  The Quebec Novel
  • 31  The French-Canadian Short Prose Narrative
  • 32  French-Canadian Poetry from 1967 to the Present
  • 33  Orality and the French-Canadian Chanson
  • 34  Drama and Theater from the Révolution tranquille to the Present
  • 35  Transculturalism and écritures migrantes
  • 36  The Institutionalization of Literature in Quebec

The Canadian Short Story

The Canadian Short Story

Humor in Contemporary Native North American Literature

Humor in Contemporary Native North American Literature