Skip to content

Open Country: Canadian Literature Since 1950, 1st Edition

By Robert Lecker
Instructional Resources
Digital teaching aids may be available for this title. All instructor requests are reviewed by our team before the files are made accessible.
Soft Cover
ISBN-10: 0176103902
ISBN-13: 9780176103903
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 1st
Open Country: Canadian Literature in English: Canadian Short Fiction is a contemporary showcase of the country’s writing. The collection includes extensive annotations that offer new interpretive possibilities for the study and appreciation of Canadian literature.

Editor Robert Lecker provides an unparalleled view of Canada’s literary evolution. This volume brings together poetry and fiction by 64 authors who gained prominence after 1950.

Organized chronologically, the works of each author are introduced by a detailed bio-critical essay that provides background information about the influences and ideas shaping the selected works as well as the author’s career. Open Country: Canadian Literature in English: Canadian Short Fiction combines recognized works in the Canadian canon with innovative challenges to the tradition, creating a dynamic balance between the established and the new.

Features

  • The anthology is organized chronologically and the works of each author are first introduced by a detailed biography providing a glimpse into the life and circumstances that helped create each piece.
  • Comprehensive footnotes have been provided for many of the selections and a book companion website presents additional tools and resources.
  • Emphasis is given to Canadian authors from the past decade and Robert Lecker has also assembled a fair representation of female and aboriginal authors.
  • The anthology offers an excellent collection of contemporary fiction including unexpected stories from established authors with varied themes, such as ethnicity and race, gender, sexuality and the gay and lesbian experience.

Table of Contents

  • Preface xv
  • Introduction xvi
  • Acknowledgements xx
  • Robert Kroetsch (1927-) 1
  • Meditation on Tom Thomson 3
  • Pumpkin: A Love Poem 4
  • Stone Hammer Poem 5
  • Seed Catalogue 10
  • Phyllis Webb (1927-) 25
  • Lament 27
  • Breaking 27
  • Making 28
  • Poetics Against the Angel of Death 30
  • From Naked Poems
  • Suite 1 31
  • Suite 2 38
  • Rilke 45
  • Treblinka Gas Chamber 45
  • Heidegger, notes of music 46
  • ?Attend? 47
  • Hugh Hood (1928-2000) 48
  • Going Out as a Ghost 50
  • Timothy Findley (1930-2002) 59
  • Dreams 60
  • Alice Munro (1931-) 74
  • The Bear Came over the Mountain 76
  • Alden Nowlan (1933-1983) 103
  • Warren Pryor 105
  • The Bull Moose 105
  • And He Wept Aloud, So That the Egyptians Heard It 106
  • The Mysterious Naked Man 107
  • On the Barrens 108
  • Austin Clarke (1934-) 110
  • A Short Drive 112
  • Leonard Cohen (1934-) 124
  • Poem 126
  • I Have Not Lingered in European Monasteries 126
  • Style 127
  • What Im Doing Here 128
  • Suzanne 128
  • Famous Blue Raincoat 129
  • The Poems Dont Love Us Any More 130
  • How to Speak Poetry 130
  • Closing Time 132
  • Leon Rooke (1934-) 133
  • The Womans Guide to Home Companionship 135
  • Rudy Wiebe (1934-) 143
  • Where Is the Voice Coming From? 145
  • George Bowering (1935-) 151
  • From Autobiology
  • The Acts 153
  • Feet, Not Eyes 153
  • Desert Elm 154
  • From Kerrisdale Elegies
  • Elegy One 161
  • Do Sink 165
  • Musing on Some Poets 172
  • Fall 1962. Vancouver 174
  • Joy Kogawa (1935-) 174
  • From Obasan 176
  • Alistair MacLeod (1936-) 190
  • The Boat 191
  • Claire Harris (1937-) 203
  • Where the Sky Is a Pitiful Tent 204
  • Jane in Summer 212
  • John Metcalf (1938-) 213
  • The Nipples of Venus 215
  • John Newlove (1938-2003) 230
  • Crazy Riel 232
  • The Pride 233
  • Ride off Any Horizon 239
  • Notes from and among the Wars 243
  • Insect Hopes 248
  • Margaret Atwood (1939-) 250
  • This Is a Photograph of Me 252
  • The Animals in That Country 253
  • Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer 254
  • Departure from the Bush 256
  • Newsreel: Man and Firing Squad 257
  • Tricks with Mirrors 258
  • Marrying the Hangman 261
  • Notes Towards a Poem That Can Never Be Written 263
  • How to Tell One Country from Another 265
  • The Loneliness of the Military Historian 266
  • Hairball 269
  • bill bissett (1939-) 277
  • jed bi kor benskt trik 279
  • awake in th red desert 280
  • Beyond Even Faithful Legends 281
  • Killer Whale 282
  • yaji yaji yaji 285
  • ths is a konkreet pome 286
  • th ordr uv things wher is th ordr 287
  • Patrick Lane (1939-) 288
  • Wild Horses 289
  • As It Is with Birds and Bulls 290
  • Albino Pheasants 291
  • Still Hunting 292
  • There Is a Time 292
  • The Far Field 293
  • Go Leaving Strange 294
  • That Cold Blue Morning 295
  • Fred Wah (1939-) 296
  • Waiting for saskatchewan 297
  • Elite 1 298
  • Elite 2 299
  • Elite 3 299
  • Elite 4 300
  • Elite 5 300
  • Elite 6 301
  • Elite 7 301
  • Elite 8 301
  • Elite 9 302
  • Elite 10 302
  • Father/Mother Haibun #4 303
  • From Diamond Grill
  • Famous Chinese Restaurant is the name of a 303
  • The Christmas before he dies he comes to 304
  • After our family moves out to British Columbia 304
  • Clark Blaise (1940-) 305
  • Identity 306
  • Sharon Butala (1940-) 313
  • Light 314
  • Gwendolyn MacEwen (1941-1987) 326
  • Eden, Eden 327
  • A Breakfast for Barbarians 328
  • Manzini: Escape Artist 329
  • Poems in Braille 330
  • Dark Pines under Water 331
  • The Shadow-Maker 332
  • From The T.E. Lawrence Poems
  • My Father 332
  • In Bed 333
  • The Water-Bearer 333
  • Feisal 334
  • The Mirage 335
  • The Peace Conference 336
  • The Tao of Physics 337
  • Daphne Marlatt (1942-) 337
  • From Steveston
  • Imagine: a town 339
  • Steveston as you find it: 340
  • At Birch Bay 342
  • in the dark of the coast 343
  • prairie 343
  • Booking Passage 344
  • Don McKay (1942-) 346
  • The Boys Own Guide to Dream Birds 347
  • The Great Blue Heron 348
  • Kestrels 348
  • How to Imagine an Albatross 349
  • Fates Worse Than Death 350
  • Finger Pointing at the Moon 351
  • ?Stress, Shear, and Strain Theories of Failure? 353
  • Thomas King (1943-) 353
  • Borders 355
  • Michael Ondaatje (1943-) 362
  • Henri Rousseau and Friends 364
  • King Kong Meets Wallace Stevens 365
  • Letters & Other Worlds 366
  • White Dwarfs 368
  • `The gate in his head 369
  • Heron Rex 370
  • The Cinnamon Peeler 371
  • Red Accordion ? An Immigrant Song 372
  • Death at Kataragama 374
  • bpNichol (1944-1988) 375
  • after hokusai 376
  • Not What The Siren Sang But What The Frag Ment 377
  • Allegory #4 378
  • Frame 16 379
  • TTA 4: original version 380
  • TTA 5: re-arranging words in poem in alphabetical order 381
  • TTA 19: replacing words with their meanings using Websters
  • DICTIONARY FOR EVERYDAY USE 381
  • probable systems 4 382
  • Steve McCaffery (1947-) 382
  • Poem for Arthur Cravan 385
  • Gnotes 388
  • Instruction Manual 395
  • Marlene NourbeSe Philip (1947-) 398
  • Discourse on the Logic of Language 400
  • She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks 404
  • John Steffler (1947-) 412
  • cliffs 413
  • Two rock paws 413
  • From Halki 414
  • That Night We Were Ravenous 415
  • Cooks Line 417
  • Lorna Crozier (1948-) 419
  • Fishing in Air 421
  • Myths 421
  • Facts about My Father 422
  • Mrs. Bentley 425
  • A Kind of Love 426
  • The Sacrifice of Isaac 427
  • Blizzard 428
  • Anne Carson (1950-) 428
  • The Truth about God 430
  • Barbara Gowdy (1950-) 439
  • We So Seldom Look on Love 441
  • Tim Lilburn (1950-) 449
  • Blessed Jan Ruysbroek, Gardening at Groenendael 450
  • Part of the Inheritance 452
  • Contemplation Is Mourning 453
  • Learning a Deeper Courtesy of the Eye 453
  • Restoration 454
  • Its Seeing-Perfumed Fist 455
  • Sleeping Four Nights in a Tree 455
  • Guy Vanderhaeghe (1951-) 457
  • The Watcher 459
  • Di Brandt (1952-) 481
  • but what do you think my father says 482
  • missionary position (1) 483
  • poem for a guy whos thought about feminism 483
  • how long does it take to forget a murder 485
  • Here at the heart of the ravaged heart 486
  • Zone: 487
  • Rohinton Mistry (1952-) 491
  • Squatter 492
  • Dionne Brand (1953-) 507
  • No Language Is Neutral 509
  • From Thirsty
  • XI 516
  • XII 517
  • XX 517
  • XXXI 519
  • Bill Gaston (1953-) 521
  • The Alcoholist 522
  • Neil Bissoondath (1955-) 528
  • Continental Drift 530
  • Marilyn Dumont (1955-) 540
  • The Devils Language 541
  • The Sound of One Hand Drumming 542
  • monuments, cowboys & indians, tin cans, and red wagons 543
  • Mark Anthony Jarman (1955-) 544
  • Burn Man on a Texas Porch 546
  • Erin Moure (1955-) 554
  • Certain Words, a Garden 556
  • Post-Modern Literature 557
  • Miss Chatelaine 558
  • The Beauty of Furs 558
  • The Beauty of Furs: A Site Glossary 559
  • Safety of the State 560
  • Erosion Theory Coil Theory Maintenance Device: 561
  • Jan Zwicky (1955-) 561
  • Language Is Hands 563
  • Last Steps 564
  • Driving Northwest 567
  • The Geology of Norway 567
  • Robinsons Crossing 570
  • John Barton (1957-) 574
  • Haro Strait 576
  • The Totems Permit Me Peace 579
  • Great Men 580
  • Stains 582
  • From a Journey Around the World 583
  • The Living Room 585
  • Plasma, Triangles of Silk 586
  • In the House of the Present 588
  • Elise Levine (1959-) 591
  • You Are You Because Your Little Dog Loves You 592
  • George Elliott Clarke (1960-) 601
  • From Whylah Falls
  • The River Pilgrim: A Letter 603
  • Four Guitars 604
  • From Execution Poems
  • Reading Titus Andronicus in Three Mile Plains, N.S. 606
  • Language 607
  • IX/XI 608
  • Douglas Coupland (1961-) 610
  • Shopping Is Not Creating 612
  • Lisa Robertson (1961-) 616
  • From Debbie: An Epic 619
  • Friday 624
  • Wooden Houses 627
  • Timothy Taylor (1963-) 630
  • The Resurrection Plant 632
  • Tim Bowling (1964-) 641
  • Dying Scarlet 643
  • The Line 644
  • The Rhododendron 646
  • The Witness Ghost 647
  • Does the World Remember Us? 650
  • Memory 651
  • Lisa Moore (1964-) 652
  • Grace 654
  • Michael Crummey (1965-) 683
  • Serendipity 685
  • Joseph Boyden (1966-) 690
  • Shawanagan Bingo Queen 692
  • Gregory Scofield (1966-) 700
  • Conversation with the Poet 703
  • No Peace 709
  • Women Who Forgot the Taste of Limes 710
  • Karen Solie (1966-) 711
  • Signs Taken for Wonders 712
  • Sturgeon 713
  • A Treatise on the Evils of Modern Homeopathic Medicines 714
  • Cipher Stroke 715
  • Determinism 716
  • Love Song of the Unreliable Narrator 717
  • Eden Robinson (1968-) 717
  • Traplines 719
  • Ivan E. Coyote (1969-) 735
  • Makeover 737
  • The Smart Money 739
  • Ken Babstock (1970-) 741
  • Crab 743
  • The Expected 743
  • Head Injury Card 744
  • A Leave-Taking 745
  • Regenerative 748
  • Ataraxia 750
  • Palindromic 751
  • Lynn Coady (1970-) 754
  • In Disguise as the Sky 756
  • Alissa York (1970-) 774
  • The Back of the Bears Mouth 776
  • David Bezmozgis (1973-) 780
  • A New Gravestone for an Old Grave 782
  • Madeleine Thien (1974-) 803
  • Simple Recipes 804
  • Credits 811
  • Index 819

Author Information

Robert Lecker

Robert Lecker is currently a professor at McGill University where his current research includes canonicity, literary history, readership and Contemporary Canadian fiction.