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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 12: The Novel in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the South Pacific Since 1950$
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Coral Ann Howells, Paul Sharrad, and Gerry Turcotte

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199679775.001.0001

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Indigenous Novels in Canada

Indigenous Novels in Canada

(p.360) 23 Indigenous Novels in Canada
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Tara Hyland-Russell

Oxford University Press

Canadian Indigenous novels emerged as a specific genre within the last thirty years, rooted in a deep, thousands-year-old ‘performance art and poetic tradition’ of oratory, oral story, poetry, and drama. In addition to these oral and performance traditions are the ‘unique and varying methods of written communication’ that flourished long before contact with Europeans. The chapter considers Canadian novels by Indigenous writers. It shows that Indigenous fiction is deeply intertwined with history, politics, and a belief in the power of story to name, resist, and heal; that novel-length Aboriginal fiction in Canada built on a growing body of other forms of Indigenous literature; and that many Indigenous novels foreground their relationship with place and identity as key features of the resistance against systemic and institutional racism. It also examines coming-of-age novels of the 1980s and 1990s that are grounded in realism.

Keywords:   realism, Indigenous novel, Canadian novel, Indigenous writers, Indigenous fiction, history, politics, Indigenous literature, place, identity

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