is World Book and Copyright Day! Books can inspire us, make us laugh, cry, and discover new perspectives on life – and copyright is what protects authors as they bring their diverse voices to the world. To mark the occasion, we're highlighting the works of just a few of Canada's most impactful writers. If you have been searching for book recommendations, look no further. We have some time-honoured Canadian classics to share, as well as some modern national bestsellers. This one goes out to the bookworms!
1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
While you may know this title by its Academy Award-winning film adaption, Life of Pi (2001) was originally a celebrated novel from French Canadian writer Yann Martel. The story follows Pi, a young teenager from India who finds himself shipwrecked and stranded in the Pacific with only a Bengal tiger for company. Pick up this title for an unforgettable adventure packed with vibrant descriptions and philosophical insights.
2. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Written in 1985, this dystopian story by Margaret Atwood has gone down in history as among the most influential and critically acclaimed works of Canadian feminist literature. It chronicles the struggles of Offred, a woman navigating the patriarchal and totalitarian society of Gilead. Today, The Handmaid's Tale is also a Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe-awarded television series.
3. Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
The late Richard Wagamese's 2012 novel Indian Horse can be found in classrooms, bookshelves, and libraries across Canada. Readers join Saul, a young Ojibway man, as he pursues his love for hockey and wrestles with the trauma of surviving residential school. A film adaption of this heartbreaking but vital story premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017.
4. Un homme et son péché by Claude-Henri Grignon
Grignon's timeless novel Un homme et son péché (1933) is among the most well-known and influential contributions to the "anti-terroir" genre. Unlike most works of fiction, it takes the perspective of a villain: Séraphin, a despised village mayor who weaponizes his wealth and power against those around him. This story inspired a 2002 film called Séraphin, as well as the 2016- television series, Les pays d'en-haut.
5. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Most classics are classics for a good reason, and Anne of Green Gables is no exception. For over 100 years, Anne's courage, kindness, and unique perspective on life throughout this coming-of-age tale has inspired both Canadians and non-Canadians everywhere. Montgomery's novel has seen many adaptions across the years, with one of the most recent being CBC's beloved three-season television series Anne with an E.
What are some of your favourite national bestsellers? This World Book and Copyright Day, we encourage you to take one of these classics outside into the spring sunshine (or curl up in a cozy indoor reading nook) and enjoy the captivating world of Canadian literature.