With the works of such internationally acclaimed authors as Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Alice Munro and Lawrence Hill, Canada is a force to be reckoned with on the literary stage. The Canadian Encyclopedia includes a variety of articles about literature in Canada, both fiction and non-fiction, gathered by topic in this collection.
Until the arrival of Haitians fleeing the Duvalier regime, the majority of francophones writing about Canada were from France. Even in the 17th century, there were occasional references to New France in literature by authors acquainted with travellers or their writings.2
The period between 1960 and 1980 was a definitive moment in Canadian literary history. Energized by the country’s centennial celebrations and widespread cultural nationalism, authors were excited by the prospect of Canadian literature as a means to help develop a national identity.
The last two decades of the 20th century were marked by growing social and economic conservatism, a tendency towards fewer gambles in PUBLISHING ventures, and a greater reliance on computer TECHNOLOGY (e-mail, internet communications, electronic journals such as Frank DAVEY's Swift Current): A.K.
The hallmark of the French Canadian essay is that it is both personal (or subjective) and creative. The essay stands apart from any writing that claims to offer an objective explanation of reality or explores a preordained, objective truth that is assumed to be valid for any time and place.