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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 October 2020

Popular Fiction

Popular Fiction

(p.389) 25 Popular Fiction
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Jeannette Sloniowski

Marilyn Rose

Oxford University Press

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).

Keywords:   popular fiction, Canada, popular culture, Gothicism, Canadian novel, Susanna Moodie, Margaret Atwood, genre fiction, crime fiction, speculative fiction

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