Must-Read Books That Make You Proud To Be Canadian


The Trillium Book Award is celebrating 30 years of honouring Ontario authors by sharing a must-read list of novels and short stories from the province’s top literary talent.

Pasha Malla – The Withdrawal Method – 2009 Trillium Book Award Winner

In The Withdrawal Method, Pasha Malla’s remarkably inventive short stories grant us entry into intriguing worlds. Follow Malla’s storytelling to the complex world of children acting out half-understood fantasies of adulthood; the modern world of young couples navigating hairpin emotional turns; or to a near future world where Niagara Falls has run dry. The Withdrawal Method is published by House of Anansi Press.

Wayson Choy – Jade Peony and All That Matters – 2x Trillium Book Award Winner (1996 and 2005)

Wayson Choy transports readers to Vancouver’s Chinatown during the 1930s and 1940s in Jade Peony. Exploring the issues of Canadian identity and belonging through the eyes of three siblings of Chinese descent, Choy evaluates Canadian attitudes towards the Japanese during Japan’s occupation of China following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Jade Peony is published by Douglas & McIntyre. Choy followed it up with the sequel, All That Matters, which follows the same story from the perspective of the eldest sibling. All That Matters is published by Doubleday Canada.

Michael Ondaatje – The English Patient and In the Skin of a Lion – 2x Trillium Book Award Winner (1993 and 1988)

Michael Ondaatje made his mark on the literary world with The English Patient. The book brings together four characters, including two Canadians, during the Italian and North African campaigns of World War II. Ondaatje explores the relationships between them and the perplexing revelations of an injured Englishman. The novel went on to be adapted for the silver screen and garnered international acclaim with nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture in 1997. In the Skin of a Lion is a precursor to The English Patient and focuses on the immigrants that shaped the development of Toronto at the turn of the 19th century. The English Patient and In the Skin of a Lion are published by McClelland & Stewart.

Camilla Gibb – Sweetness in the Belly – 2006 Trillium Book Award Winner

Camilla Gibb’s Sweetness in the Belly brings us on a journey from England to Ethiopia. The leading character struggles with human tragedy as an orphan living in exile. She is a Muslim woman who is striving to maintain a stronghold on her life inside the walled city of Harar, amidst the Ethiopian revolution. Sweetness in the Belly is published by Doubleday Canada.

Kate Cayley – How You Were Born – 2015 Trillium Book Award Winner 

Kate Cayley’s first collection of short stories, How You Were Born, explores the strange, tragi-comic and implausible elements that run through our everyday lives. An aging academic becomes convinced that he is haunted by his double. An eleven-year-old girl becomes obsessed with the acrobat who visits her small town. A group of siblings put their senile father, a Holocaust survivor, into institutional care, while failing to notice that he is reliving the past. Each story examines the complexities of loyalty, love and memory. How You Were Born is published by Pedlar Press.

The 30th Trillium Book Award will be presented on June 20. Visit to discover other Trillium Book Award-winning titles.

COURTESY: News Canada