The headline for an article written by Annie Coreno for Publishers Weekly, titled “Oh Canada”, suggests that it may be the case. In my opinion, last year’s great books were dominated by Canadian women, so Coreno really hits the nail on the head with this one. Leading the way, dubbed the “master of the contemporary short story” Alice Munro was recognized for her achievements in literature by winning the esteemed Nobel Prize in Literature. Born in 1931 in Ontario, Munro first achieved fame for her collection of stories, Dance of the Happy Shades, which won the Governor General’s Award. From the 1960’s on, Munro has had a prolific writing career, which has won her numerous prizes and accolades, all culminating in last year’s very prestigious Nobel Prize.
To see a list of Alice Munro’s books, check out this link.
My personal favourite of last year came from a very brave and admirable woman, Amanda Lindhout, who wrote her memoir, A House in the Sky. As a young girl with a spirit for traveling, Amanda decided to travel to Somalia in 2008. She was captured and held hostage for 460 days. This is a harrowing account of her survival, but also a story of resilience and hope that shows how her struggle in Somalia did not defeat her, but only gave her inspiration for her humanitarian efforts. In 2010 she founded the Global Enrichment Foundation, which aims to provide educational opportunities to women in Somalia.
As the newest instalment in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series, Louise Penny’s, How the Light Gets In received rave reviews, and was nominated for both the Edgar Allan Poe and Agatha Awards. Described as, “magnificent”, “masterful”, and “gorgeous”, this book is bound to please anyone looking for a great mystery read.
The psychological thriller that everyone was talking about last year, The Silent Wife, was written by Canadian writer Susan Harrison, who wrote under the name A. S. A. Harrison. What some people were claiming was the new Gone Girl (and even better); The Silent Wife was praised for its constant surprises, twists, and turns. As a debut novel for Harrison, this book was an instant success, staying on many bestseller lists. Unfortunately, right before the launch of her book, Harrison passed away after a battle with cancer. She never had the opportunity to see what a giant success her book was to become.
I think these books along with the great accomplishment of Munro, just go to show what powerhouse writing we have in the women of Canada. There were many other outstanding books written last year that should also not go unnoticed. One of those books was MaddAddam, Margaret Atwood’s conclusion to her trilogy that she began with, Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood. There is also Eleanor Catton’s book, The Luminaries, which she presented in Windsor at the 2013 BookFest. It was the longest book ever to win the celebrated Man Booker Prize, and also garnered the Governor General’s Award for English-language fiction.
Did I miss your favourite Canadian female writer? Please feel free to leave your comments below on who you would have picked, or would have liked to have seen recognized.
To read the original article by Annie Coreno, click here.