Five Canadian writers recognized with international awards:
1. Margaret Atwood: Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts (1981); Los Angeles Times Fiction Award for The Handmaid’s Tale (1986); Government of France’s Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1994); Man Booker Prize for The Blind Assassin (2000); Dan David Prize for Literature (2010)
2. Alistair MacLeod: IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for No Great Mischief (2001); Lannan Literary Award for Fiction (2003); PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction (2009)
3. Alice Munro: PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction (1997); Man Booker International Prize (2009); Nobel Prize in Literature (2013)
4. Michael Ondaatje: Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts (1984); Man Booker Prize for The English Patient (1992);
Le prix Médicis étranger for Anil’s Ghost (2000)
5. Carold Shields: Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Stone Diaries (1995); Prix de Lire and Orange Prize for Larry’s Party (1998)
Policing the classics
Three international novels that rankled authorities:
1. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence: subject to various bans and book burnings between 1945 and 1962.
2. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs: McClelland & Stewart temporarily stopped Canadian distribution of the book in 1963 after
the Toronto Police Department’s morality squad threatened seizure.
3. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie: Canada Customs blocked imports of the controversial novel for two days in 1989.
Pop goes CanLit
“Quit telling your stupid story about the stupid desert, and just die already!”
– Elaine Benes hates the movie adaptation of Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient (Seinfeld, 1997)
“Alice Munro in her short fiction has the ability to evoke a lifetime in images and dialogue of almost startling perception.”
– Roger Ebert on Away From Her, Sarah Polley’s film adaptation of Munro’s story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain (rogerebert.com, 2007)
“Early on, I made very clear that I was willing to do whatever they wanted me to do and that I was stepping back because I know my limits. I’m a novelist; it’s my business to write words and construct novels, not to make movies – as much as I love movies.”
– Yann Martel on the Academy Award–winning adaptation of his novel Life of Pi (Hollywood Reporter, 2012)
“As I was reading, I thought, ‘This author must have spent some time in a mental institution.’”
– Oprah Winfrey interviewing Ann-Marie MacDonald about her novel Fall on Your Knees (Oprah, 2002)
“You know, we’d read our Chomsky and our John Pilger. But [Naomi Klein] put connections together which I thought were good. And since then, as she says herself, she has a pretty face and she can sell the ideas to people and she gets asked on to chat shows and she knows exactly what she’s doing. I think that’s a cool attitude. She knows she’s being used.”
– Thom Yorke on the influence of Klein’s anti-capitalist manifesto No Logo on Radiohead’s 2000 album Kid A (Uncut, 2001)
These stories appeared in Q&Q’s 80th anniversary feature in the April 2015 print issue.