Every now and then, I like to get a slightly different perspective in my CanLit. As a born-and-raised Ontarian, it is easy to strongly identify with characters whose horizons are the same as my own. But sometimes it’s nice to jump outside that comfortable perspective and see what it’s like in other parts of the country.
In keeping, here are some authors from Western Canada, whose works are sure to give you a taste of a different locale…
Jane Barker Wright
This lively novel by BC-based author Jane Barker Wright is full of fascinating characters who prove that ordinary people can have extraordinary stories. The Understanding follows the Whitechapels and their nine children, who learn that secrets don’t stay buried, and that fame and notoriety often coexist.
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Calgary author Marika Deliyannides’s Bitter Lake tells the story of a thirtysomething professional organizer whose life spirals out of control when she returns to her rural childhood home. Her run-ins with her parents, sister, and old high school crush make her contemplate the mistakes of her past and begin to chart a new course for her future
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In Niceman Cometh, David Carpenter brings Saskatoon to life with the story of Glory who, newly single, has an uncanny ability to attract scads of admirers—especially the unsuitable ones. Naturally, her precocious six-and-a-half-year-old son, Bobby, has some thoughts about the situation. This is a playful yarn about the joys and sorrows of modern life.
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The Bird in the Stillness
To truly appreciate the West, you have to appreciate the breathtaking natural environment. Qualicum Beach, BC’s Joe Rosenblatt does just that in The Bird in the Stillness. You’ll almost feel as if you’re walking through the great, towering forests of British Columbia as you page through these exquisite poems, or like you’re walking along the beaches of Vancouver Island. With charming drawings to illustrate the scene, you’ll be feeling green in no time!
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