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Arrival: The Story of CanLit

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In the mid-twentieth century, Canadian literature transformed from a largely ignored trickle of books into an enormous cultural phenomenon that produced Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, Mordecai Richler, and so many others. In Arrival, acclaimed writer and critic Nick Mount answers the question: What caused the CanLit Boom?

Written with wit and panache, Arriv
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published September 2nd 2017 by House of Anansi Press
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Maria Stevenson "Arrival: The Story of CanLit" is its full title, you could probably order it online or have it ordered in to your local bookstore or maybe try a…more"Arrival: The Story of CanLit" is its full title, you could probably order it online or have it ordered in to your local bookstore or maybe try a university bookstore since you are in the US. (here in Canada, i just bought mine in a local book warehouse "Black Bond Books"

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Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017s, nonfiction
I so truly enjoyed this book that I don't know where to start. Some thoughts: 1. CanLit in the 60s reads like a campy CanLit novel from the 60s. 2. Irving and Cohen were dicks. 3. The CanLit boom is dead. Long live the CanLit boom.
DNF @ 36%

Not that book I thought it was, but that's really on me for putting this title on hold at the library simply because it was about CanLit. Knowing only that I expected something similar to Atwood's Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature and a chapter or two in I realized my mistake.

I'm only familiar with a handful of authors discussed in the book, and most of them only by name rather than their bibliographies, so I lacked any real interest to push through until the end. Looki
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting account of the birth of CanLit (1950s-early 1970s), a period I lived through as a youthful reader. I was reading a lot of British, American and French authors at the time, but remember reading Cohen's Beautiful Losers, a number of Richler's books and some Atwood. I am trying to remember when I first came across the term "CanLit", but it would have been the late 60s or early 70s, when bookstores began to have CanLit sections. It did remind me of being sent on a grade 12 trip with a ...more
Darren Kirby
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reading this book, two things occurred to me: That I have not read (nor even heard of) nearly as much CanLit as I thought, and also, it strongly confirmed my distaste for Mordacai Richler.

This book thoughtfully and humourously enumerates a period from the late 1950s to early 1970s when poetry and prose from Canadian authors burst through a floodgate, paraphrasing Margaret Atwood. Each chapter contains two or three capsule biographies of the relevant players, from authors, publishers and notable
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
A fascinating history of the CanLit Boom from the late 40s through the early 70s, this book is mandatory reading for anyone interested in early Canadian literature. The greatest thing about this book might be its inclusion of so many Canadian authors who are not often (if ever) mentioned today and the importance they played in the early days of Canadian literature.

I'd love to read a sequel that explores Canadian literature from the mid-70s through the 90s - and then maybe a third volume for the
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had so much enjoyment from reading this history of CanLit. So many of the books were old friends from years past and still so many to read in the future. Essential reading for all those readers who love our Canadian writers. Thanks to Goodreads and House of Anansi for this giveaway.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an enjoyable, fascinating, accessible piece of literary complaints with only two flaws: Mount doesn't quite get Rudy Wiebe and he is wearing a ridiculous hat in his author photo.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Even though I'm an avid reader my knowledge of Canadian Literature (with a capital L) is somewhat limited. Reading Arrival was not only entertaining but eye opening as well. When I was younger (in high school) we had to read a select list of Canadian Authors but I had absolutely no interest in them then. Now however, I gobble up as much Canadian content as I can.

Arrival is well researched, but not a stuffy analytical read. This said, it's not a book I gobbled up in a few sittings. Instead, it's
Don Gutteridge
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
An exhaustive but not exhausting recounting of the story of Can Lit, written with wit and humour, and adding the social, economic and political context that makes this a kind of social history of Canada in the '60s and '70s. There is one glaring omission: although Mount spends a full chapter on Anansi and Coach House he neglects to mention one of the best and most sought-after small presses, Oberon. Michael Macklem not only published some of the new and leading writers of the '70s, he designed b ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

I enjoyed this exposé of Canada's literary scene. I especially enjoyed the author's style; there was quite a bit of humour in his writing. It was a treat to learn about the early lives of authors whose books I was "forced" to read in high school 🙂
Ampersand Inc.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: judy-s-reads
I have been dipping in and out of this account of the Canadian book industry. I love the sidebars with his take on “classics” of the Canlit canon and whether or not he feels that have held up over time.
Maria Stevenson
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed this. Arrival: The Story of CanLit...reads like an engaging story of the fictional kind. Or, maybe it's more fitting to say it reads like a lively biography or autobiography. (It DOESN'T read much like poetry, in any case. I mention this because poetry is one of the main focuses of this book, the other being fiction: novels, short stories and occasionally plays.) While you are reading "Arrival" you don't really think about these things so much, as you are just enjoying yourself. ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
The CanLit class I wish I had at university!
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Nick Mount is a professor of English literature at the University of Toronto, award-winning critic, and former Fiction Editor at The Walrus. He regularly gives public talks on the arts in Canada, and has appeared on TVO’s Big Ideas and CBC Radio’s Sunday Edition. He is a two-time finalist in TVO’s Best Lecturer Competition. In 2011, he was awarded a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, the country’s h ...more