This top-knotch selection of fiction, memoir, and non-fiction written by Canadian women are all worthy additions to your summer book list. From travel memoirs to well-loved literary classics, these inspiring reads are sure to make a Canlit convert out of you.
How Poetry Saved My Life, A Hustler's Memoir by Amber Dawn
This collection of writings, including poety and fiction, chronicles Vancouver poet Amber Dawn's experience as a sex worker prior to becoming a writer. Dawn's memoir covers "terrain of sex work, queer identity, and survivor pride," in a frank, poignant, and very colourful way.
Breathing the Page: Reading the Act of Writing by Betsy Warland
For writers, bloggers, poets, and playwrights both amateur and pro, this book is a must-read. Warland is a Vancouver-based author and teacher and passionate feminist who covers, in this book, everything you need to know about writing like a champion. This book will make you want to start writing your novel now.
Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munroe
This series of stories follows an intelligent young woman named Del on a journey through her youth in a small southern Ontario town. Including an unsatisfactory school experience, thought-provoking sexual encounters, and troubled friendships, this classic book is a must-read for all Canadian women who were less than enthralled to grow up in a small town.
When My World Was Very Small by Ruth Rakoff
Being diagnosed with breast cancer made this author's world – including 3 kids and an active role in her community, "shrink down to the size of a breast." There's no sugar coating the physical / emotional pain here, but the author makes clear in her writing that a life without laughter isn't worth living. Rakoff's intimate, frank, down-to-earth memoir will surely help put things in perspective.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
If you missed this read in elementary school, pick it up this summer. The well-loved, prococious, and firey-haired orphan causes a big stir in a a PEI town with her tall tales and sassy attitude. Anne is an inspiration for escaping mundane reality through imagination. Her story is just pure fun.
Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neil
This novel follows the story of Baby, a 12 year old girl who lives in Montreal with her heroine-addicted brother. Baby's imagination, wisdom and ability to cherish the tiny crumbs of happiness that fall into her lap – including an intimate relationship with a local pimp, make her an irresistible and unforgettable young protagonist.
Chorus of Mushrooms by Hiromi Goto
Japanese Canadian feminist author Hiromi Goto explores the lives of three generations of women in a Japanese family living in a small Alberta town. Part Japanese folk legend, part love story, Goto's debut novel is full of humour, lively characters, and unforgettable images.
Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves
Spanning 15 years of travel through 5 continents, this book captures the essence of the trend of young, independent women who devote much of their young lives to travel. Get lost in the jungles or Papua New Guinea and fall in love with Cairo vicariously. If you dug Eat Pray Love, you'll be into this.