Canadian Literature and its Important Women Writers

Canada is a beautiful country, and what make it beautiful is its people, cultural heritage and of course its literature. It has faced many ups and downs before flourishing itself. In the very first stage it was land of dreams then it became evicted and unfamiliar and then finally it became technically and economically strong and also a multicultural country.

On July 1, 1867, Canada was officially announced as a country, and literature written before this period is considered as colonial literature. The two English sisters- Susanna Moodie and Catherine Parr Traill- who moved to Canada are considered as the pioneers of Canadian literature.

The early themes of Canadian literature were survival, jagged Canadian environment, child’s consciousness, wilderness and landscape. Later many other themes flourished like culture, feminism, social realism, loneliness, socioeconomic- realities and psychological effects. These themes are the main ingredients of Canadian writings. The Canadian literature has developed slowly and into prominence in 1850. Thomas Chandler Haliburton was the first aboriginal writer of Canada.

Most of the Canadian literature has been written in Canadian English, Canadian French and Canadian Gaelic and the influence of immigrants on Canadian literature can be seen. Apart from English, Indigenous literature started flourishing which is based on different languages, traditions and cultural practices, but Canadians were ignorant towards the different languages of their own region. From 1980 Canadian writing started reflecting its ethnic values and cultural diversity.

The presence of English, American and French has wide spread influence on the country as well as on its literature. Women writers are the center of Canadian literature. They have contributed a lot in Canadian literature. Women writers have given new heights and recognition to Canadian literature. They came in prominence in 1840 and played an important role in shaping Canadian literature.

Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Margaret Laurence, Lucy Montgomery, Carol Shields, Miriam Toews and Eden Robinson are some of the famous women writers of Canada. In one of the interviews of Alice Munro she agreed upon the fact that when she began her writing career the world didn’t know much about Canadian literature.

Alice Munro is one of famous women writers of Canada and winner of the prestigious Nobel prize. Munro’s works have revolutionized the architecture of short stories, especially when her stories move backward and forward in time. She won Nobel prize in 2013 for her contribution and the way she paved for short story genre in literature. Dear Life, Runaway, Dance of Happy shades, Lives of Girls and Women, Friend of My Youth and Open Secrets are some of her famous works.

Margaret Atwood is another gem of Canadian literature. If one is talking about Canadian literature then it’s not complete without Margaret Atwood’s fictional works or poems. One can easily find variety of themes in her works. She has won numerous awards for her brilliancy in writing. Surfacing, Lady Oracle, Cat’s Eye, The Edible Woman, Life Before Man and The Blind Assassin are some of famous works.

Carol Shields was born in America but belongs to Canada. She is known for her novels and short stories and won numerous awards in her lifetime. She is well known for her work The Stone Diaries, Larry’s Party, Various Miracles, Unless and Order of Canada.

Eden Robinson is an indigenous Canadian writer. She also won notable prizes. Her first work Traplines was published in 1995, and after that she never looked back. Monkey Beach, Blood Sports and Din of a Trickster are her renowned works.

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