It is often argued that the achieved maturity of Canadian literature is demonstrated by the success of Canadian writers on the international stage. Indeed, numerous authors now have large audiences around the world, and several have won major foreign prizes, notably the Man Booker (formerly Booker) and the Orange Prize. The Canadian Booker winners are Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood and Yann Martel, while Carol Shields, Mordecai Richler, Rohinton Mistry, Robertson Davies and Alice Munro have all been shortlisted at least once. The more recently established Orange Prize for fiction by women has been won by Shields and Anne Michaels; shortlisted writers include Atwood, Jane Urquhart and Ann-Marie Macdonald. This list certainly suggests that Canadian literature is no longer seen as an undeveloped or 'minor' literature according to world standards. Yet the repetition of this litany of names by Canadian critics and journalists anxious to affirm the status of the national literature suggests a continuing desire for foreign approval. Arguably, this recalls the 'colonial cringe' of earlier eras, and it most certainly reveals the conflicted relationship between nationalisms and global literary culture, and the tension between local and international ownership of the literary star.
This conclusion offers some preliminary reflections on issues such as these, examining the impact of shifting patterns of reading, new models of celebrity authorship, and contemporary forms of
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Publication information: Book title: Canadian Literature. Contributors: Faye Hammill - Author. Publisher: Edinburgh University Press. Place of publication: Edinburgh. Publication year: 2007. Page number: 167.
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