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Gillian Wigmore: Writing into the Western Canadian Canon

I started to cry, sitting in a third year English class, listening to Smaro Kambourelli introduce the central BC setting of Sheila Watson’s The Double Hook. I tried to hide it, but I hadn’t known I was missing my own landscapes in Canadian literature so badly. It was that day, that class, and that incredible academic who introduced me to the canon I wanted to write toward, but it was further reading into these books that convinced me that the best books are ones that require work, that engage the imagination and don’t fill in all the blanks. These are the books that make me want to write into and from the west.

Tay John by Howard O’Hagan: Tay John dropped kicked the novel and turned it inside out—post-modern before post-modernism, it subverted the form and absolutely enchanted me. A novel set in northern Alberta written in biblical tones with a word-of-mouth protagonist who never gets to tell his own story?  Yes, please.

Book Cover the Double Hook

The Double Hook by Sheila Watson: The Double Hook meanders up and down a small creek in the central BC interior.  Holey and …

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