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The 111 Greatest Works of Canadian Literature

This selection of literature from Canada is based on the continuing research carried out for The Greatest Literature of All Time list and is additionally informed by the views of local readers, writers, critics and scholars.

It encompasses the greatest works of Canadian authors in all forms, genres, cultures and periods.

This list focuses on major creative—mainly fictional—works, although some shorter or nonfiction writing of literary significance may also be included.

Latest update: March 29, 2024

1832
Wacousta
John Richardson
Canada, novel
1836
The Clockmaker, or the Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of Slicksville
Thomas Chandler Haliburton
Canada, novel
 
The Backwoods of Canada
Catherine Parr Traill
Canada, letters
1852
Roughing It in the Bush
Susanna Moodie
Canada, memoir
1886
In Divers Tones
Charles G.D. Roberts
Canada, poetry collection
Includes The Tantramar Revisited, The Sower, The Potato Harvest, and others
1893
Low Tide on Grand Pré
Bliss Carmen
Canada, poetry collection
Includes Low Tide on Grand Pré, Windflower, A Sea Child, The Eavesdropper, and others
1895
Lyrics of Earth
Archibald Lampman
Canada, poetry collection
1904
The Imperialist
Sarah Jeannette Duncan
Canada, novel
1907
Songs of a Sourdough
Robert Service
Canada, poetry collection
Includes The Shooting of Dan McGrew, The Cremation of Sam McGee, and others
1908
Anne of Green Gables
L.M. Montgomery
Canada, novel
1925
Settlers of the Marsh
Frederick Philip Grove
Canada, novel
1928
Canada, poetry collection
1937
More Joy in Heaven
Canada, novel
1941
As For Me and My House
Sinclair Ross
Canada, novel
1944
Earth and High Heaven
Gwethalyn Graham
Canada, novel
1945
Two Solitudes
Hugh MacLennan
Canada, novel
 
The Tin Flute
Gabrielle Roy
Canada, novel
 
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
Elizabeth Smart
Canada, novel
1947
Who Has Seen the Wind?
W.O. Mitchell
Canada, novel
1950
Canada, novel
1954
Swamp Angel
Ethel Wilson
Canada, novel
1956
Canada, poetry collection
1959
Canada, story collection
Includes All the Years of Her Life, A Sick Call, Now That April's Here, Ancient Lineage, Two Fishermen, and others
 
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
Mordecai Richler
Canada, novel
 
The Double Hook
Sheila Watson
Canada, novel
1963
Canada, story collection
Includes The Conversion of Willie Heaps, The Yellow Sweater, The Magnet, One-Two-Three Little Indians, and others
1964
Canada, novel
1965
Next Episode
Hubert Aquin
Canada, novel
 
A Season in the Life of Emmanuel
Marie-Claire Blais
Canada, novel
1966
missing graphic
Beautiful Losers
Canada, novel
 
A Jest of God
Canada, novel
 
St. Urbain's Horseman
Mordecai Richler
Canada, novel
1968
Michel Tremblay
Canada, play
1969
Selected Poems
Irving Layton
Canada, poetry collection
1970
Fifth Business
Robertson Davies
Canada, novel
 
Kamouraska
Anne Hébert
Canada, novel
1971
Canada, poetry collection
 
Lives of Girls and Women
Alice Munro
Canada, story collection
1972
Surfacing
Margaret Atwood
Canada, novel
 
Selected Poems
Al Purdy
Canada, poetry collection
1974
missing graphic
The Diviners
Canada, novel
1976
Bear
Marian Engel
Canada, novel
1977
The Wars
Timothy Findley
Canada, novel
 
The Beggar Maid
Alice Munro
Canada, story collection
 
Stardance
Spider and Jeanne Robinson
Canada, novel

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1981
Obasan
Joy Kogawa
Canada, novel
1984
Neuromancer
William Gibson
Canada, novel
 
Sanaaq
Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk
Canada, novel
1984–1986
The Fionavar Tapestry
Guy Gavriel Kay
Canada, Novel trilogy
1985
missing graphic
The Handmaid's Tale
Canada, novel
 
Black Robe
Brian Moore
Canada, novel
1987
In the Skin of a Lion
Michael Ondaatje
Canada, novel
 
The Stone Diaries
Carol Shields
Canada, novel
1988
The First Garden
Anne Hebert
Canada, novel
1989
Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing
Tomson Highway
Canada, play
1990
Tigana
Guy Gavriel Kay
Canada, novel
1991
Generation X
Douglas Coupland
Canada, novel
1992
The English Patient
Michael Ondaatje
Canada, novel
1993
The Robber Bride
Canada, novel
 
Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs
Leonard Cohen
Canada, poetry collection
 
Green Grass, Running Water
Thomas King
Canada, novel
1994
Funny Boy
Shyam Selvadurai
Canada, novel
 
The Book of Secrets
M.G. Vassanji
Canada, novel
1995
The Jade Peony
Wayson Choy
Canada, novel
 
A Fine Balance
Rohan Mistry
Canada, novel
1996
The Cure for Death by Lightning
Gail Anderson-Dargatz
Canada, novel
 
Selected Stories
Mavis Gallant
Canada, story collection
Includes The Moslem Wife, In Youth Is Pleasure, The Chosen Husband, In Plain Sight, and others
 
Fall on Your Knees
Ann-Marie MacDonald
Canada, novel
 
Fugitive Pieces
Anne Michaels
Canada, novel
1998
Brown Girl in the Ring
Nalo Hopkinson
Canada, novel
 1998
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams
Wayne Johnston
Canada, novel
1999
No Great Mischief
Alistair Macleod
Canada, novel
 
Barney's Version
Mordecai Richler
Canada, novel
2000
missing graphic
The Blind Assassin
Canada, novel
 
Anil's Ghost
Michael Ondaatje
Canada, novel
 
Mercy Among the Children
David Adams Richards
Canada, novel
 
Monkey Beach
Eden Robinson
Canada, novel
2001
The Beauty of the Husband
Anne Carson
Canada, poetry collection
 
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage
Alice Munro
Canada, story collection
Includes Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; The Bear Came Over the Mountain; and others
 
missing graphic
Clara Callan
Canada
2002
The Polished Hoe
Austin Clarke
Canada, novel
 
Life of Pi
Yann Martel
Canada, novel
2003
Oryx and Crake
Canada, novel
2004
Runaway
Alice Munro
Canada, story collection
 
A Complicated Kindness
Miriam Toews
Canada, novel
2005
The Time In Between
David Bergen
Canada, novel
 
missing graphic
Three Day Road
Jospeh Boyden
Canada, novel
 
Still Life
Louise Penny
Canada, novel
 
Spin
Robert Charles Wilson
Canada, novel
2006
Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures
Vincent Lam
Canada, story collection
 
Lullabies for Little Criminals
Heather O'Neill
Canada, novel
2007
Late Nights on Air
Elizabeth Hay
Canada, novel
 
The Book of Negroes
Lawrence Hill
Canada, novel
2009
The Bishop's Man
Linden MacIntyre
Canada, novel
 
February
Lisa Moore
Canada, novel
 
Ru
Kim Thúy
Canada, novel
2010
Room
Emma Donoghue
Canada, novel
 
Annabel
Kathleen Winter
Canada, novel
2011
The Sisters Brothers
Patrick deWitt
Canada, novel
 
Half-Blood Blues
Esi Edugyan
Canada, novel
 
The Cat's Table
Michael Ondaatje
Canada, novel
 
Among Others
Jo Walton
Wales / Canada, novel
2012
Indian Horse
Richard Wagamese
Canada, novel
2013
The Orenda
Joseph Boyden
Canada, novel
 
Bone and Bread
Saleema Nawaz
Canada, novel
2017
Bellevue Square
Michael Redhill
Canada, novel
2019
This Is How You Lose the Time War
Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone
Canada, United States, novella

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