Top 10 Canadian books

This is not a list of most.


This is not a list of most important books or works that set off trends. These are the best of Canlit for the last decade – and, frankly, if you haven’t read them, you haven’t been keeping up.

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1. The Girls, by Lori Lansens (Random House, 2005).

The story of Siamese twins, and the ultimate in empathy.

2. The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein (Knopf, 2007).

Steel-trap thinking from one of the world’s best political minds.

3. Oryx And Crake, by Margaret Atwood (McCLelland & Stewart, 2003).

With this year’s The Year Of The Flood, visionary genius.

4. The Book Of Negroes, by Lawrence Hill (HarperCollins, 2007).

The most important book about Canadian black history – ever.

5. Too Close To The Falls, by Catherine Gildiner (Penguin, 2001).

Alongside After The Falls, a brilliant double dose of memoir.

6. A Complicated Kindness, by Miriam Toews (Knopf, 2004).

The breakthrough book from a writer who has depth and knows funny.

7. Life Mask, by Emma Donoghue (Virago, 2004).

Thrilling historical fiction goes backstage: the French Revolution and a queer twist, too.

8. Long Shadows: Truth, Lies And History, by Erna Paris (Vintage, 2000).

Brings new meaning to the term “reconciliation” – in South Africa, the American South and more.

9. What We All Long For, by Dionne Brand (Knopf, 2004).

The decade’s best book set in Toronto, in all its complex diversity.

10. The Lost Garden, by Helen Humphreys (Phyllis Bruce, 2002).

Poetic and heartbreaking wartime fiction from a way too underappreciated writer.

susanc@nowtoronto.com

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