photo of stacks (lower floor)

Canadian Literature & Poetry
in English

Women’s Writing


Early Voices: Portraits of Canada by Women Writers, 1639–1914 Downie, Mary A. et al, editors A collection of first-person accounts of women’s experiences of Canada, representing a multitude of Canadian regions, national origins, and social classes. Includes writings by Anna Brownell Jameson, Catharine Parr Traill, Emily Carr as well as lesser known names.
HQ1453 .E33 2010 Stacks
The Penguin Book of Contemporary Canadian Women’s Short Stories Moore, Lisa, editor Includes stories published between the 1980s and the early twenty-first century from Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields, Mavis Gallant, Jane Urquhart, Jacqueline Baker, Bonnie Burnard, Lynn Coady, Camilla Gibb, Eden Robinson, and Madeleine Thien.
PR 9197.33 .W65 P45 2006 Stacks
The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse Campbell, Wilfred, editor Include early Canadian poets, such as C.D. Shanly and R.A. Faulkner; prominent Confederation poets (Bliss Carman, among others), and women poets (Tekahionwake, also known as E.Pauline Johnson). The anthology provides insight into how early Canada looked and felt to newcomers, evolving attitudes about Canadian identity, and the early canonization of the nation’s literature.
PR 9195.25 .O9 2013 Stacks
Sexing the Maple: A Canadian Sourcebook Dickinson, Peter, and Richard Cavell, editors A sourcebook that raises issues of nationalism and sexuality in Canada through a rich and diverse selection of fiction, poetry, criticism, and history. The collection considers topics as wide-ranging as First Nations sexuality, censorship, assisted reproduction, and religion. Literary works by Alice Munro, Jane Rule, Timothy Findley, Leonard Cohen, Irving Layton, Lynn Crosbie, Michael Turner, and many others are included.
HQ 18 .C2 S395 2006 Stacks


Database of Canada’s Early Women Writers Gerson, Carole Women authors who either lived for an extensive period of time in Canada or self-identified as Canadian, and who published some form of writing in English—in any genre and in any forum—up to and including 1950. An entry for each writer includes the dates and places of the author’birth and death, a bibliography of published works, and places of residence.
The Feminine Gaze: A Canadian Compendium of Non-Fiction Women Authors and Their Books, 1836–1945 Dagg, Anne Innis A bibliography detailing writings by Canadians as well as British and American travellers on their impressions of Canada and many different cultural aspects of the country in the nineteenth and twentieth century. The compendium features brief biographies of the authors, short descriptions of their books, and a comprehensive index of their books’ subject matters.
Available Online Z 1376 .W65 D33 2001 Reference
Canada’s Early Women Writers: Texts in English to 1859 Gerson, Carole This bibliographical study presents 152 women-authored English-language texts relating to Canada that were published from 1728 to 1859, including the works of Frances Brooke, Anna Jameson, Susanna Moodie, and Catherine Parr Traill. Included are monographas that appeared before 1860, and personal life-writings (letters, diaries, travael journals) written before 1860 that were published later.
Z 1376 .W65 G47 1994 Reference
Bibliography of Feminist Criticism Godard, Barbara An older book (published in 1987), but it includes bibliographical lists of retrospective feminist criticism not published elsewhere. Also contains citation information of books, articles, theses, and dissertations about feminist literary theory, individual writers, images of women in men’s writing, images of men, and feminist presses.
Z 1377 .F38 G63 1987 Reference
Contemporary Canadian and U.S. Women of Letters: An Annotated Bibliography Gerry, Thomas M. F. Provides a bibliography for sixteen contemporary writers from Canada and the United States. Although works of poetry and fiction are listed, the annotations are restricted to the critical and theoretical works of the writers. Canadian writers profiled in the volume include: Louky Bersianik, Nicole Brossard, Aritha Van Herk, Janice Kulyk Keefer, Jay Macpherson, Daphne Marlatt and Jane Rule.
Z 1376 .W65 G46 1993 Reference


Dictionary of Canadian Biography The Biography provides authoritative biographical information about significant figures of Canada’s past who died between the years 1000 and 1930, or whose last known date of activity falls within these years.There are detailed articles on Canada’s major historical figures, and short articles on minor personages who have hitherto found no place in reference works or general histories.
Available Online F1005 .D49 Reference
Profiles in Canadian Literature 1980– Heath, Jeffrey M., editor An on-going series since 1980, these volumes contain studies of a broad range of authors from a variety of regions and periods. Each author is presented in four sections: a brief essay about the writer’s work; a chronology of the works; comments by the writer, and comments by other critics. A bibliography of primary works and criticisms suggests further study.
PR 9184.6 .P76 Reference & Stacks Oversize
ECW’s Biographical Guide to Canadian Novelists Lecker, Robert, ack David, Ellen Quigley, editors Includes such notables as Susanna Moodie, James De Mille, Stephen Leacock, Margaret Laurence, Alice Munro and Audrey Thomas. Brief biographies include titles of works published and awards earned. Arrangement by date of birth, the coverage begins in 1724, and ends with Matt Cohen (born in 1942).
PR 9186.2 .E28 1993 Reference
Canadian Writers 1920–1959, First Series New, H.W., editor Alphabetically arranged essays have description of life and work, career chronology and a bio-critical narrative for each author. Reproduces samples of text, manuscript, title pages and dust jackets. Often includes photographs of authors and handwriting samples.
PR 9186.2 .C34 1988 Reference
Canadian Writers 1920–1959, Second Series New, H.W., editor This volume covers the English language and French language writers of Canada who established their careers between 1920 and 1959. Illustrations include photographs of manuscripts and book jackets, as well as portraits of the writers. References are provided for further reading, and locations of archival papers are noted.
PR 9186.2 .C342 1989 Reference
Canadian Writers Since 1960, First Series New, H.W., editor Biographies of major writers placed in the perspective of literary history; includes some minor figures. Has drawings, paintings, and photographs of authors; title pages and dust jackets of their works reproduced in facsimile. Alphabetical arrangement of works and books, multi media productions and periodical publications. An extensive biography about the author follows, with an analysis of style and used. Interviews are listed and a select bibliography concludes the entry.
PR 9186.2 .C365 1986 Reference
Canadian Writers Since 1960, Second Series New, H.W., editor This work extends the First Series by providing additional biographies, critical overviews and bibliographies to English language and French language Canadian writers whose careers were established during the decades of the 1970s and 1980s.
PR 9186.2 .C366 1987 Reference
Canadian Novelists, 1920–1945 Thomas, Clara Biographical and bibliographical information concerning authors either Canadian born or established residents who have published fiction since 1920. Note that there is nothing after 1945; use in conjunction with other bibliographies. Appendix at the end classifies authors according to the genre into which their works fit. Published in 1946.
Z 1377 .F4T5 Reference & Stacks
World Writers in English Parini, Jay An idiosyncratic selection of writers from Commonwealth countries. Canada is represented by Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro and Michael Ondaatje. Biographical information, bibliography of primary and secondary sources and descriptions of individual works.
PR 9080.5 .W67 2004 Reference

Individual Authors

The Cambridge Introduction to Margaret Atwood Macpherson, Heidi Slettedahl Summarizes Atwood’s output, from her earliest poetry and her first novel (The Edible Woman, 1969) through The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) to The Year of the Flood (2009). Covering the full range of her work, it guides students through multiple readings of her works. It includes chapters on her life and career, her literary, Canadian and feminist contexts, and how her work has been received and debated over the course of her career.
PR 6051 .T9 Z7885 2010 Stacks
The Cambridge Companion to Margaret Atwood Howells, Carol Ann, editor Twelve essays exploring the depiction of female bodies, environmentalism, humour, home and nationhood in the Atwood’s novels, such as The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake, and others. Other topics include her poetry and short stories.
Available Online PR 6051 .T9 Z58 2006 Stacks
Margaret Atwood: A Reference Guide, 1988–2005 Hengen, Shannon, and Ashley Thomson A bibliography of Margaret Atwood’s works from 1988 to 2005 and writings about them by others, including books, articles, short stories, letters, and poetry, as well as adaptations and quotations, organized chronologically by year. Secondary entries such as interviews, scholarly resources, and reviews are organized by type and then alphabetically.
Z 8046.947 .H46 2007 Reference
The L.M. Montgomery Reader Lefebvre, Benjamin, editor Volume One: “A Life in Print” assembles significant rediscovered primary material on one of Canada’s most enduringly popular authors throughout her high-profile career and after her death. Volume Two: “A critical heritage” narrates the development of L.M. Montgomery’s critical reputation in the seventy years since her death. Volume III: “A Legacy in Review” examines a long-overlooked portion of Montgomery’s critical reception: reviews of her books.
PR 9199.3 .M6 Z786 2013 Stacks
The Fragrance of Sweet-Grass: L.M. Montgomery’s Heroines and the Pursuit of Romance Epperly, Elizabeth R. Focusing on Montgomery’s memorable heroines, Epperly demonstrates that Montgomery deserves a place in the literary canon not just as the creator of Anne of Green Gables but as an artist in her chosen profession.
Available Online PR 9199.3 .M6 Z63 2014 Stacks
Alice Munro Bloom, Harold, editor Includes critical essays on Munro’s books, a chronology of her life, and a bibliography of her publications.
PR 9199.3 .M8 Z5145 2009 Stacks
Alice Munro: An Annotated Bibliography of Works and Criticism Mazur, Carol, compiler, and Cathy Moulder, editor
Z 8605.55 .M39 2007 Reference
Sharon Pollock: First Woman of Canadian Theatre Coates, Donna, editor As playwright, actor, director, teacher, mentor, theatre administrator, and critic, Sharon Pollock has played an integral role in the shaping of Canada’s national theatre tradition. This collection is comprised of new and original assessments of her work and contribution to theatre.
Available Online PR 9199.3 .P57 Z84 2015 Stacks
Adele Wiseman: An Annotated Bibliography Panofsky, Ruth Lists book reviews, interviews, and scholarly articles on Wiseman
Z 8979.18 .P35 1992 Reference

History, Literary Interpretation & Criticism

The Oxford Handbook of Canadian Literature Sugars, Cynthia, editor A comprehensive, authoritative guide to many different genres, topics, and aspects of Canadian literary history, including the influence of literature on the Canadian national identity, authorship, postcolonialism, short story, drama, poetry, Indigenous literatures, women’s writing, children’s literature, gay and lesbian literature, creative work from the Confederation period, regional fiction, and minority writers.
PR 9180.2 .O95 2016 Stacks
The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature Howells, Coral A, and Eva-Marie Kröller, editors A complete English-language history of Canadian writing in English and French from its beginnings, with an emphasis on literary, poetic, and dramatic works published since the 1960s. Analyzes the emergence of multicultural and Indigenous writing, popular literature, nature-writing, life-writing, and the interaction of anglophone and francophone cultures throughout Canadian history.
Available Online PR 9184.6 .C26 2009 Stacks
Canadian Literature Hammill, Faye Critical study of Canadian literature, placing internationally successful anglophone Canadian authors in the context of their national literary history. While the focus of the book is on twentieth-century and contemporary writing, it also charts the historical development of Canadian literature and discusses important eighteenth- and nineteenth-century authors. The chapters focus on four central topics in Canadian culture: ethnicity, race, colonization; wildernesses, cities, regions; desire; and histories and stories. Authors chosen for close analysis include Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Alice Munro, Leonard Cohen, Thomas King and Carol Shields.
PR 9189.6 .H36 2007 Stacks
The Cambridge Companion to Canadian Literature Kröller, Eva-Marie A comprehensive introduction to major writers, genres and topics in Canadian literature: fiction, drama, and poetry, Aboriginal writing, autobiography, literary criticism, writing by women, urban writing, nature-writing, exploration and travel-writing, and short fiction.
Available Online PR 9184.3 .C34 2004 Stacks
Bibliography of Feminist Criticism Godard, Barbara Includes books, articles, sections of books, theses, dissertations, interviews and reviews on feminist literary theory, general studies of feminist writers, individual writers, images of women in men’s writing, images of men, journalism, and feminist presses.
Z 1377 .F38G63 1987 Reference
Canadian Literature at the Crossroads of Language and Culture: Selected Essays by Barbara Godard, 1987–2005 Godard, Barbara Godard is recognized as one of the most influential scholars in the area of Canadian studies. This anthology of her collected essays includes “The Politics of Representation: Some Native Canadian Women Writers,” first published in 1990.
PR 9193.5 .G63 2008 Stacks
Canadian Women Writing Fiction Pearlman, Mickey A collection of critical essays about contemporary Canadian women writers including, Alice Munro, Mavis Gallant, Anne Hébert, Margaret Atwood, Marie Claire Blais, Carol Shields and Joy Kogawa.
PR 9188 .C36 1993 Stacks
Writing in the Feminine in French and English Canada: A Question of Ethics Carrière, Marie Considers the contemporary movement of “writing in the feminine&rdquo by examining the work of five women writers from French and English Canada and the dialogue therein with feminist and psychoanalytic theory and theories of ethics.
Available Online PR 9188 .C37 2002 Stacks
Gynocritics: Feminist Approaches to Canadian and Quebec Women’s Writing Godard, Barbara, editor The essays in this volume explore women as readers and writers and the collection concludes with the first extensive bibliography of feminist criticism about Canadian and Québec literature.
PR 9188 .G95 1987 Stacks
Canadian Literature at the Crossroads of Language and Culture: Selected Essays by Barbara Godard, 1987–2005 Godard, Barbara Godard is recognized as one of the most influential scholars in the area of Canadian studies. This anthology of her collected essays includes “The Politics of Representation: Some Native Canadian Women Writers,” first published in 1990.
PR 9193.5 .G63 2008 Stacks
Wider Boundaries of Daring: The Modernist Impulse in Canadian Women’s Poetry Brandt, Di, and Barbara Godard, editors Presents a revision of the genealogy of Canadian literary modernism by foregrounding the originary and exemplary contribution of women poets, critics, cultural activists, and experimental prose writers Dorothy Livesay, P.K. Page, Miriam Waddington, Phyllis Webb, Elizabeth Brewster, Jay Macpherson, Anne Wilkinson, Anne Marriott, and Elizabeth Smart.
PR 9188 .W54 2009 Stacks
Literary Culture and Female Authorship in Canada 1760–2000 Hammill, Faye Six women writers from six different periods and how they portray Canadian women authors: Frances Brooke; Susanna Moodie; Sara Jeannette Duncan; L.M. Montgomery; Margaret Atwood and Carol Shields.
PR 9188 .H35 2003 Stacks
Contemporary Canadian Women’s Fiction: Refiguring Identities Howells, Coral A. Charts the changes in the Canadian literary landscape since the early 1990s in the work of Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Carol Shields, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Kerri Sakamoto, Shani Mootoo, Gail Anderson-Dargazt, and Eden Robinson.
PR 9188 .H67 2003 Stacks
Sounding Differences: Conversations with Seventeen Women Writers from Across Canada Williamson, Janice R., editor Each interview contains a short bio-critical essay, a photograph of the writer, and a sample of their writing. A mixture of essayists, novelists, and poets. Some of the interviews were previously published in literary journals.
PR 9188 .S68 1993 Stacks
All My Sisters: Essays on the Work of Canadian Women Writers Thomas, Clara Clara Thomas has been an important contributor to Canadian literary feminism. This volume of essays deals to a large part with Margaret Laurence but also includes major nineteenth-century and twentieth-century women writers.
PR 9188 .T48 1994 Stacks
Canadian Women in Print, 1750–1918 Gerson, Carole Historical examination of women’s engagement with multiple aspects of print over some two hundred years in Canada, from the settlers who wrote diaries and letters to the New Women who argued for ballots and equal rights.
PR 9188 .G47 2010 Stacks
Jane Eyre’s American Daughters: From the Wide, Wide World to Anne of Green Gables: A Study of Marginalized Maidens and What They Mean Seelye, John
PS 374 .W6 S44 2005 Stacks
The Island Motif in the Fiction of L.M. Montgomery, Margaret Laurence, Margaret Atwood, and Other Canadian Women Novelists Sheckels, Theodore F. Examines islands and idylls as recurring images inthe work of Canadian women novelists.
PR 9192.6 .I75 S54 2003 Stacks
Narrative Strategies in Canadian Literature: Feminism and Postcolonialism Howells, Coral A, and Lynette Hunter, editors The essays focus on the interrelation of realism, modernism and postmodernism as a set of tensions within the literary traditions of the English language.
PR 9192.5 .N37 1991 Stacks
Tropes and Territories: Short Fiction, Postcolonial Readings, Canadian Writing in Context Dvořák, Marta, and W.H. New, editors Analyzes the influence of postcolonial criticism on the reading, writing, and status of short fiction: Métis narratives, Maori myth, and stories by Alice Munro, Salman Rushdie, Alistair MacLeod, Mavis Gallant, Emily Carr, and Thomas King.
PR 9084 .T76 2007 Stacks
Odysseys Home: Mapping African-Canadian Literature Clarke, George Elliott Presents a history of the African-Canadian literature and oral cultures, identifies African-Canadian literature’s distinguishing characteristics, argues for its relevance to both African Diasporic Black and Canadian Studies, and critiques several of its key creators and texts. Authors whose work is examine in the book are André Alexis, Dionne Brand, Austin Clarke, Claire Harris, and M. Nourbese Philip.
PR 9188.2 .B57 C56 2002 Stacks
Directions Home: Approaches to African-Canadian Literature Clarke, George Elliott Building on the discoveries of his critically acclaimed Odysseys Home, Clarke showcases the importance of little-known texts, including church histories and slave narratives, and offers studies of autobiography, crime and punishment, jazz poetics, and musical composition.
Available Online PR 9188.2 .B57 C55 2012 Stacks
Settling Down and Settling Up: The Second Generation in Black Canadian and Black British Women’s Writing Medovarski, Andrea Katherine Comparing second generation children of immigrants in black Canadian and black British women’s writing, the book extends discourses of diaspora and postcolonialism by expanding recent theory on movement and border crossing. Considering migration and settlement as complex, interrelated processes that inform each other across multiple generations and geographies, Medovarski challenges the gendered constructions of nationhood and diaspora with a particular focus on Canadian and British black women writers, including Dionne Brand, Esi Edugyan, and Zadie Smith.
Available Online PR 120 .B55 M43 2019 Stacks
Beyond the Canebrakes: Caribbean Women Writers in Canada Williams, Emily A. Essays and interviews that examine the work of West Indian women writers living in Canada. The essays examine the work of literary artists —Claire Harris, Olive Senior, Lillian Allen, Afua Cooper, Dionne Brand, M. Nourbese Philip, Nalo Hopkinson, Pamela Mordecai, and Makeda Silvera— as an integral not marginal element of the Canadian and world literature canons.
PR 9188.2 .C37 B49 2008 Stacks
Taking Back Our Spirits: Indigenous Literature, Public Policy and Healing Espikenew, Jo-Ann Examines contemporary autobiography, fiction, and drama to reveal how these texts respond to and critique public policy, and how literature functions as medicine” to help cure the suffering inflicted by the colonial legacy.
PR 9194.5 .I5 E65 2009 Stacks
At Odds in the World: Essays on Jewish Canadian Women Writers Panofsky, Ruth Examines the contributions of performers and other artists to the Yiddish theatre and culture in Montreal in the first half of the twentieth century, with consideration to the social landscape of the city.
PR 9188.2 .J48 P25 2008 Stacks
Alice Munro’s Miraculous Art: Critical Essays Fiamengo, Janice Lynch, Gerald, editors The book is then divided into three sections, focusing on Munro's characteristic forms, themes, and most notable literary effects.
PR 9199.3 .M8 Z516 2017 Stacks

Digital Collections

Canadian Poetry Online University of Toronto Digital Collections A collection of poetry from numerous nineteenth and twentieth-century Canadian poets, including Isabella Valancy Crawford, Marjorie Pickthall, Margaret Avison, Gwendolyn MacEwen, Janis Rapoport, and numerous others.
Canadian Poetry Created in partnership with the Electronic Text Centre at the University of New Brunswick Libraries, this collection contains the full text of more than 19,000 poems by 177 poets including Bliss Carman, Isabella Valancy Crawford, Archibald Lampman, Charles G.D. Roberts and Duncan Campbell Scott, offering a comprehensive survey of Canadian poetry from the eighteenth century to the early twentieth.
North American Women’s Drama Alexander Street Press 102 full-text plays by Canadian writers: Carol Bolt, Sharon Pollock, Rachel Wyatt, and others.
North American Women’s Letters and Diaries Alexander Street Press 27 diaries and other types of writing from Susanna Moodie, Letitia MacTavish Hargrave, Catherine Parr Traill, and others.


Literary Garland vol. 1 (1838)–vol. 9 (1851) The journal was an important publishing platform for pioneer writing in the “new world,” featuring stories of travel to an unknown land and the challenges of frontier life. Writing as “Mrs. Moodie,” Susanna Moodie (1803–1885) is recognized as the most distinguished contributor.
Margaret Atwood Studies vol. 2 (2008)–vol. 10 (2016) Published by the Margaret Atwood Society, the journal publishes articles of scholarly criticism of Atwood’s novels, short stories, and poetry. Also features an annual Atwood bibliography. Peer-reviewed.

updated & expanded by: Agatha Barc, 21 January 2020
originally compiled by: Irene Dutton, Alison Girling