Five Canadian Authors I’m Thankful For This (Canadian) Thanksgiving

Posted by Eric Smith

Image via Tumblr

On October 14th, my friends in Canada (I’m looking at you, @RandomHouseCA!) will be celebrating Thanksgiving, and I’ll be sitting here jealous in Philadelphia. Because I want Thanksgiving turkey RIGHT NOW and have to wait until November. And no, the Thanksgiving sandwich they make at Cosi will not hold me over. Stop suggesting that, Blair.

So as I sit here, cranky, I decided to reflect on some Canadians I’m thankful for. And not just our publishing buddies up north or our fabulous Quirk blogger @MsMariaVicente, but the fantastic authors that call Canada home. Thanks for writing (and sometimes drawing!) such amazing work.

1. MARGARET ATWOOD: I really don’t even know where to start here. Do I tell you to pick up The Handmaid’s Tale? The Blind Assassin? Some of her poetry? Margaret Atwood’s writing is all over the place, and all of it (at least what I’ve read) is fantastic, from poetry to kids books to dystopian trilogies.

If I had to give you one place to start with Atwood, I’d insist you pick up her MaddAddam trilogy. The final book in the series, MaddAddam, just came out in September. I’d also suggest you start following Margaret on Twitter, where she actively talks to her fans and the bookish community.

2. YANN MARTEL: Surely you’ve read Life of Pi at one point in your bookish life, or at least saw the beautiful movie. Well surprise! The author lives in Canada. Be thankful with me.

Note: My favorite strip, via Hark a Vagrant

3. KATE BEATON: The creator of Hark a Vagrant!, Kate is one of my favorite comic artists and easily one of the funniest people on the entire Internet. Yes, the whole Internet. Her web comics focus on the literary and historical, and are always smart and hilarious. And her hardcover book collects a ton of her strips, and is definitely worth picking up. I’ve got a copy, and I’ve read it several times.

Is it weird to say that I think Kate Beaton and I could be BFFs? Like Poe and Jules? Am I allowed to say that? Well I’m going to. And in addition to reading her main website, I’d also suggest following her Tumblr, where she posts illustrations regularly.

4. EMMA DONOGHUE: Okay, okay, yes she was born in Ireland, and spent a lot of time between Ireland, England, and Canada… but Emma settled in London, Toronto, and she currently resides there. So that counts

While Emma has written plenty of other books, I wasn’t introduced to her until her massive bestseller, Room. One of my coworkers insisted I read it, and the book utterly shook me. I can’t recommend it enough.

5. DOUGLAS COPELAND: As a geek, it’s impossible for me not to admire Douglas Copeland and his fantasitc books. Particularly Microserfs and jPod. Novels that focus on the plight of programmers and game designers? Yes please.

Now of course, there are plenty of other Canadian authors out there. Who are some of your favorites?

Eric Smith


ERIC SMITH is the cofounder of Geekadelphia, a popular blog covering all-that-is-geek in the City of Brotherly Love, as well as the Philadelphia Geek Awards, an annual awards show held at the Academy of Natural Sciences. He’s written for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly, and