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