A handful of CanLit faves in honor of the big birthday:
Margaret Atwood, Life Before Man. Pre-dystopian Atwood, back when she was still writing tartly about men and women. Also a great portrait of 1970s Toronto.
Rudy Wiebe, A Discovery of Strangers. Indigenous peoples encounter English explorers in a 19th century landscape riven with grandeur. Astonishing writing.
Matt Cohen, Elizabeth and After. A fabulous finish to Cohen’s long career.
Mavis Gallant, A Fairly Good Time. A piquant look at a Canadian abroad written by one of CanLit’s most trenchant observers.
Richard Teleky, Pack Up The Moon. It’s hard to think of a substantial gay Canadian novel, but Teleky’s second effort, while no masterpiece, is a worthy contender. Funny and generous, it’s a perceptive paen to friendship.