With the works of such internationally acclaimed authors as Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Alice Munro and Lawrence Hill, Canada is a force to be reckoned with on the literary stage. The Canadian Encyclopedia includes a variety of articles about literature in Canada, both fiction and non-fiction, gathered by topic in this collection.
Murdoch Mysteries is a TV series based on Maureen Jennings’s mystery novels about William Murdoch, a Victorian-era detective who is ahead of his time and uses forensic science and technology to solve Toronto’s most complex crimes. Often referred to as a Victorian-era CSI, the long-running show features a mix of humour, intrigue, science fiction, history and period production values that is unique to police procedurals. It attracted a cult following after premiering on City TV in 2008 but garnered a much larger audience after being picked up by the CBC in 2013. It was Canada’s highest-rated scripted television series in 2016 and is broadcast in more than 100 countries.
The Governor General’s Literary Awards are the pre-eminent literary prize offered for single works in Canada. They serve to reward Canadian writers and to publicize Canadian literature through the announcement of short-listed nominees and the awards ceremony each year. As of 2017, there were 14 categories, seven each in English and French, with a cash prize of $25,000 each. The publisher of each winning book receives $3,000 to promote it, and authors that are shortlisted as finalists receive $1,000.
Lucy Maud Montgomery’s first novel, Anne of Green Gables (1908), became an instant bestseller and has remained in print for more than a century, making the character of Anne Shirley a mythic icon of Canadian culture. The book has sold an estimated 50 million copies worldwide, been translated into at least 36 languages, as well as braille, and been adapted more than two dozen times in various mediums. A musical version first produced by the Charlottetown Festival in 1965 is the longest running annual musical theatre production in the world, while the award-winning 1985 CBC miniseries starring Megan Follows is the most-watched television program in Canadian history. Thousands of tourists visit Prince Edward Island each year to see the “sacred sites” related to the book, and the sale of Anne-related commodities such as souvenirs and dolls has come to constitute a cottage industry.