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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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(p.30) 2 Canada
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

George L. Parker

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the history of fiction publishing in Canada since 1950. It begins with the arrival of New York publisher Alfred Knopf in Canada in August 1955, a month after the Canadian Writers' Conference was held at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. During the conference, the sorry plight of the English-language book scene was tackled: bookstores, for example, were dominated by British and American authors, and Canadian literature was practically ignored in schools and universities. The chapter examines how many of these complaints were resolved by the 2000s. It considers changes in Canadian fiction from traditional realism towards modernism and postmodernism, and the importance of the New Canadian Library quality paperback series (1958). It also describes other significant developments that reshaped the Canadian book market, including the emergence of independent small presses, Harlequin Enterprises, the proliferation of international conglomerates, the marketing of e-books, and the rise of Amazon.

Keywords:   Canadian novel, publishing, Canada, Alfred Knopf, bookstores, Canadian literature, postmodernism, book market, New Canadian Library

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