The top 20 novels set in Toronto as suggested by blogTO's readers
In this, the thrilling culmination to her MaddAddam trilogy, which began with Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood, Atwood offers one of her best novels, at once intellectually stirring and extremely moving, a reminder of the possibilities of humanity itself.
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One of Canada’s best writers, Glover returns with a brilliant story collection displaying his considerable range and remarkably varied writerly gifts.
Catton, the Canadian-born, New Zealand-raised 28-year-old winner of both the Man Booker Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award, had a remarkable year, but deservedly so. The Luminaries, set in 19th-century New Zealand, is an astounding exercise in voice and character.
Coady’s Giller-winning follow-up to her Giller-shortlisted novel The Antagonist, Hellgoing is a sleek collection of nine striking stories. It’s also the first book of short fiction to take the country’s most prestigious literary prize since 2006.
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A posthumous novel-in-verse, Love, Dishonor stands as the last testament of David Rakoff, beloved humourist, essayist and frequent contributor to This American Life. Above all, it is an argument for decency and beauty in a complicated world.
Not your ordinary book told partly from the perspective of a domesticated ape, Colin McAdam’s third novel, published in the spring, has returned to prominence this fall after winning the Rogers’ Writers Trust Fiction Prize.
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Sullivan, one of the country’s most talented young writers, debuts with an extreme and extremely good short-story collection, a book of booze, bleakness and bruises. This is a writer to watch.
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A surprising turn for the celebrated author of such CanLit staples as The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, Johnston’s new novel tells the story of a boy named Percy, who’s very, very in love with his mother. As elsewhere in his work, St. John’s is here brought wonderfully to life.
Moore’s thrillerish new novel, arriving just after she won CBC’s Canada Reads for her previous book, February, is something of a departure for the Newfoundland author, though the prose remains classic Moore: precise, elegant, sparkling.
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Lambert’s beautiful stories, which launched publisher Patrick Crean’s new imprint at HarperCollins, are lives in miniature, each one bringing us familiar settings and situations, yet finding surprising and unexpected turns within.
Kay’s novels, magisterial blends of history and the fantastic, are always good. His latest, which returns to the China-inspired nation of Kitai in which his previous book, Under Heaven, was set, is an exemplary testament to the possibilities of the imagination.
Davidson, long heralded for his gritty, tough stories, delivers again with this novel set in Niagara Falls. A finalist for the Giller Prize, it interestingly sets the stage for his next effort, a horror novel called The Troop to be published next year under the pseudonym of Nick Cutter.
There’s nothing like spending time in Montreal to really get a feel for the city, its culture and its people – add to that the creative, insider perspectives of some of Canada’s bright literary minds and Montréal might just start feeling like home…
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For more on Montréal lit, check out the Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival in late April, the Salon du Livre de Montréal festival in late November, and Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore.
Books Based In Canada
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A finalist for the Man Booker Prize, Ozeki’s novel is an inspired puzzle box of a book spanning continents, stories and literary forms, yet somehow producing a mysterious and satisfying whole.
Messud’s book about an angry woman sparked much controversy, reviving the tired old discussion of whether characters must be likeable. Of course they mustn’t, and Messud’s stark tale proves the point perfectly.
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Grady’s long-awaited first novel, which arrives more than a dozen books into his storied career, is a piercing examination of the complexities of race in Canada, based on his own surprising family history.
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Pyper, whose previous hits include Lost Girls and The Killing Circle, makes a splash with this scary, sombre novel about a missing daughter and a father in crisis. The globetrotting first hundred pages are especially good, as is the nuanced tone of sadness laced throughout.
Vyleta’s moody and atmospheric novel set in Vienna after the Second World War was a finalist for the Giller Prize, and many expected him to win. His stylish prose and complex characters deserve a wider audience; hopefully this novel’s success will bring him one.
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