Canadian literature is as diverse (and far-reaching) as the country itself! It captures diversity, and covers a wide range of genres. You can find everything from classics through to contemporary fiction, written from all manner of perspectives.
Motifs and Patterns in Canadian Literature
The social attitudes and values of Canada can amply be seen in the literature of Canada and there is no more a question of national character of Canada. Irony is their dominant mode and litotes is the common speech pattern and humour pervades all their serious writings. The Canadian writings resist the binaries associated with perfectionism like: good-evil, right-wrong, hero-villain dualism, embracing notions of multiple alternatives, working pluralities, multi-voicedness and negotiated or evolving resolution.
Virtually no consideration is given to genre writers, other than obligatory nods to Atwood’s dystopian science fiction and Patrick DeWitt’s neo-Western The Sisters Brothers.
You have asked if where I live affects my writing. The answer is ‘It truly does, very much.’ My novels are about Canadian places, fictional characters and real social concerns that Canadians face or have faced. When I went sailing, I thought I would write about the many places I would visit – to share the various cultures. But, I now know, in order to write about such things one has to live there, set roots down and fully understand the dynamics of the people in its entirety. My journey which encompassed Central America, the North and South Pacific lasted five years but was all too short to understand the cultures well enough to create a novel. Now as my Great Adventure slips further back in time the memories get all hazy and I am glad that I have the dozens of documentaries to refresh my memory.
And although I do not know the people and cultures of places I had visited well enough to write about, I do send my ‘characters’ on worldly adventures, to places I have been. The key is to weave together the threads of a traditional setting. Truth can be stretched, to a degree, but not physical distance if the setting is meant to be realistic.
Some authors use:
- Guidebooks, online travel sites and other books/websites.
- Travel blogs.
- Google Earth and Google street maps.
- Interview someone who has been there.
Perhaps one day I might attempt writing about a foreign spiritual culture or tyrannical government but even then I will have to research and visit the place – I’m thinking Russia, St Petersburg has always intrigued me. To exaggerate aspects of that world would be to breach the trust of my readers. Therefore I remain fastidious about keeping it real through my own experience and research.
For now I write about my Canada.
“Linda has published fifteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish.”