Guides

Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson

Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson

Haisla/Heiltsuk writer Eden Robinson’s first book, a collection of stories called Traplines, was published to critical acclaim in 1996. Robinson then adapted one story from the collection, Queen of the North, into her debut novel, Monkey Beach, which was shortlisted for the 2000 Governor General’s Award and the Giller Prize, and won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King

Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King

Thomas King’s storytelling, publications, and talks play a significant role in developing Indigenous literatures in Canada and the United States. Green Grass, Running Water, a finalist for the 1993 Governor General’s Award, remains one of his most popular works.

The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway

The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway

The Rez Sisters launched Highway’s career as a notable and influential playwright in Canada, and earned him a Dora Mavor Moore Award in 1987. The play was initially performed only in Indigenous communities, but then moved to major stages across the country.

A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder by James De Mille

A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder by James De Mille

Published posthumously in 1888, James De Mille’s A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder tells a satiric story of a lost utopia through a frame narrative and an internal tale ostensibly found in a bottle floating at sea. The questions in this case study guide students through the frame narrative structure, as well as the use of irony and problematic depictions of utopia.

Indigenous Literary History (1960s-1990)

Indigenous Literary History (1960s-1990)

Several important political developments in the 1960s helped strengthen Indigenous nationalism in Canada. Until the 1960s, Status Indians—peoples legally recognized by the Indian Act—lacked many rights enjoyed by Canadian citizens, as the Indian Act categorized them as wards of the state.

Defamiliarization and Reconceptualization

Defamiliarization and Reconceptualization

The following poems, previously published in Canadian Literature, use a variety of strategies to defamiliarize and reconceptualize their subject. These strategies include novel combinations of images, linguistic disruptions, and more.

E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) (1895), wearing her performance costume. Cochran, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1952-010, C-085125

E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake)

E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake; 1861–1913) was a popular poet, critic, and performer. In this chapter, we address a small sampling of her wide range of poems and prose. The life and career of Pauline Johnson has been the subject of renewed academic attention since the 1960s, in particular with the growing interest in feminism, Indigeneity, and diversity.

English-Language Comics and Graphic Novels in Canada

English-Language Comics and Graphic Novels in Canada

Comics include a range of forms and genres, including the popular graphic novel, and go by a variety of names like cartoons, comix, the funnies, graphica, graphic literature, sequential art, and visual literature. Comics has remained the most popularly accepted general term, with the recognition that comics aren’t always funny.

Nationalism and Literature: Cross-Genre Connections

Nationalism and Literature: Cross-Genre Connections

In this critical writing assignment, compare and contrast one book and at least one (or even a few) of the following poems (or select from others found in this unit).

Nationalism, Now: Ongoing National Conversations

Nationalism, Now: Ongoing National Conversations

Contemporary debates about Canadian nationalism in Canadian literature reflect ongoing concerns with power, history, cultural diversity and with their effects on individuals, communities, and the nation state.