This chapter examines the history of popular fiction in Canada. In Canada, popular culture reflects not only Canadian experience but also cultural anxieties as they have permeated and shaped the national imaginary since the days of settlement. The most significant component of that national imaginary in relation to popular narrative is probably what might be called an evolving Gothic sensibility. Gothicism refers to the portrayal of strange or frightening experiences in mysterious and daunting places and spaces. The chapter considers a number of earlier Canadian novels that stand out in the Canadian popular imagination, including L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables (1908), Margaret Laurence's The Diviners (1974). It also discusses genre fiction in the modern and contemporary periods, such as Harlequin Enterprises (founded Winnipeg 1949) and women's romances, crime fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction, notably William Gibson's cyberpunk novel Neuromancer (1984).
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