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What makes a book truly “Canadian”? That it is set there? That it is written by a Canadian? That it tells a story of a particular Canadian community?

All of the above, actually.

These are the ten books we consider to be the best our country has inspired or produced, in no special order:

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Anne of Green Gables

She was the original emancipated woman, a woman with agency – she was who she was, and created a good life for herself despite the obstacles life threw in her way.

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The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

This blistering satire traces the eventful coming-of-age of a cynical dreamer. Amoral, inventive, ruthless, and scheming, Duddy Kravitz is one of the most magnetic anti-heroes in literature.

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Lives of Girls and Women

Alice Munro’s collection of intertwined stories proves how extraordinary ordinary life can be.

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The Inconvenient Indian

Ranging freely across the centuries and the Canada–U.S. border, King debunks fabricated stories of Indian savagery and White heroism, takes an oblique look at Indians (and cowboys) in film and popular culture, and wrestles with the history of Native American resistance and his own experiences as a Native rights activist. 

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A Fine Balance

By a Canadian, not about Canada: this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. 

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The Handmaid’s Tale

It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

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The Orenda

A Jesuit missionary ventures into the wilderness in search of converts—the defining moment of first contact between radically different worlds, each at once old and new in its own ways. 

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Fall On Your Knees

Compellingly written, by turns menacingly dark and hilariously funny, this is an epic tale of five generations of sin, guilt, and redemption.

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The English Patient

With unsettling beauty and intelligence, this Booker Prize-winning novel traces the intersection of four damaged lives in an abandoned Italian villa at the end of World War II.

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The Life of Pi

"A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

Read more great Canadian books: 150 books that tell the story of Canada.