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A literary magazine released a list of the 100 most important Canadian books yesterday -- and confirmed stereotypes of Canada as a land of wonks obsessed with politics and national identity, yet gave only the briefest nod to hockey.

The Literary Review of Canada's list includes no less than six reports by royal commissions, the Geological Survey of Canada of 1863, Pierre Trudeau's 1968 title Federalism and the French Canadians and Margaret Atwood's Survival, which analyzed recurring themes in Canadian literature.

It also includes more obvious favourites such as Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, Stephen Leacock's Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town and Mordecai Richler's The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. It features that quintessentially Canadian title Report of the Canadian Royal Commission on Health Services from 1964, but only one book about hockey, Howie Meeker's Hockey Basics, an instruction manual from 1973.

The list is chronological and begins with Jacques Cartier's Account of the Second Voyage of Navigation of 1535 and 1536, the first text to call the land Canada. It ends with Dark Age Ahead, a book about the decline of cities written by urban philosopher Jane Jacobs and published last year. The government documents range from Lord Durham's 1839 Report on the Affairs of British North America, in which he infamously dismissed French Canadian culture, to the final report of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism from 1967-69. The list also includes drama (Michel Tremblay's Les belle-soeurs), poetry (Leonard Cohen's T he Spice-Box of Earth and Dennis Lee's collection of children's verses Alligator Pie) as well as 33 novels such as Timothy Findley's The Wars and Louis Hémon's Maria Chapdelaine.

"We didn't want a great books list," LRC editor Bronwyn Drainie said. "That's a mug's game: your great book is someone else's piece of trash. We thought important and influential -- you can't quite measure but you can at least pull out evidence [to support your choice.]

The point was to pick books that shaped the national psyche rather than judging literary merit, she explained, adding that the list, which includes 11 French-language titles, did not attempt a comprehensive overview of Quebec books.

Ms. Drainie and her colleagues at the magazine chose the 100 titles from a list of about 300 submitted by dozens of the magazine's contributors and readers. The most popular book -- it got about 10 nominations -- was Lament for a Nation: The Defeat of Canadian Nationalism, the galvanizing 1965 work in which George Grant described a country being erased by continentalism. The second-most-nominated was Anne of Green Gables. Four writers appear twice: Ms. Atwood, Mr. Richler, the economist H.A. Innis and the literary critic Northrop Frye.

The magazine plans to publish the defences of the various titles written by their nominees in future issues, but the list is sure to be hotly contested. In its neglect of the theme of hockey, it has passed over Roch Carrier's much loved children's story The Hockey Sweater, about a Quebec boy traumatized when Eaton's sends him a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey. While the list includes many celebrated Canadian novels, such as W.O. Mitchell's Who Has Seen the Wind, Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel, Carol Shields's The Stone Diaries, Wayson Choy's The Jade Peony and Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance (the one novel set entirely outside Canada), it somehow missed any title by Michael Ondaatje.

Ms. Drainie explained that her colleagues' heated debate as to whether to include The English Patient or In the Skin of a Lion wound up in a draw.

"James Joyce never won the Nobel," she said. "[Ondaatje]is the most important Canadian writer who never made it on to the list of the most important Canadian books."


Bref récit et succincte narration de la navigation faite en MDXXXV et MDXXXVI (Account of the Second Voyage of the Navigation of 1535 and 1536) (1545) Jacques Cartier

A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudson's Bay, to the Northern Ocean (1795) Samuel Hearne

Wacousta; or The Prophecy: A Tale of the Canadas (1832) John Richardson

Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839) Lord Durham

Roughing It in the Bush, or Life in Canada (1852) Susanna Moodie

Geological Survey of Canada: Report of Progress from Its Commencement to 1863 (1863)

Canada and the Canadian Question (1891) Goldwin Smith

Wild Animals I Have Known and 200 Drawings (1898) Ernest Thompson Seton

The Poems of Archibald Lampman (1900) Archibald Lampman

The Imperialist (1904) Sara Jeannette Duncan

Anne of Green Gables (1908) Lucy Maud Montgomery

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912) Stephen Leacock

Flint and Feather (1912) E. Pauline Johnson

Maria Chapdelaine (1914) Louis Hémon

Jalna (1927) Mazo de la Roche

The Fur Trade in Canada: An Introduction to Canadian Economic History (1930) H. A. Innis

Such Is My Beloved (1934) Morley Callaghan

The Commercial Empire of the St. Lawrence, 1760-1850 (1937) Donald Creighton

Menaud, maître-draveur (Boss of the River) (1937) Félix-Antoine Savard

As For Me and My House (1941) Sinclair Ross

Two Solitudes (1945) Hugh MacLennan

Bonheur d'occasion (The Tin Flute) (1945) Gabrielle Roy

Report of the Royal Commission to Investigate the Facts Relating to and the Circumstances Surrounding the Communication by Public Officials and Other Persons in Positions of Trust of Secret and Confidential Information to Agents of a Foreign Power (1946) Kellock-Taschereau Commission

Who Has Seen the Wind (1947) W. O. Mitchell

Les Plouffe (The Plouffe Family) (1948) Roger Lemelin

Refus Global (Complete Refusal) (1948) Paul-Émile Borduas

Empire and Communications (1950) H. A. Innis

Report of the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences, 1949-1951 (1951) Massey Commission

People of the Deer (1952) Farley Mowat

So Little for the Mind (1953) Hilda Neatby

John A. Macdonald: The Young Politician (1952) and The Old Chieftain (1955) Donald Creighton

Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (1957) Bernard Lonergan

Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays (1957) Northrop Frye

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959) Mordecai Richler

The Spice-Box of Earth (1961) Leonard Cohen

The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1962) Marshall McLuhan

Renegade in Power: The Diefenbaker Years (1963) Peter C. Newman

Report of the Canada Royal Commission on Health Services (1964) Hall Commission

The Stone Angel (1964) Margaret Laurence

In Praise of Older Women: The Amorous Recollections of András Vajda (1965) Stephen Vizinczey

Lament for a Nation: The Defeat of Canadian Nationalism (1965) George Grant

Prochain épisode (Next Episode) (1965) Hubert Aquin

The Vertical Mosaic: An Analysis of Social Class and Power in Canada (1965) John A. Porter

Une saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel (A Season in the Life of Emmanuel) (1965) Marie-Claire Blais

Combat Journal for Place d'Armes: A Personal Narrative (1967) Scott Symons

The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (1967) George Ryga

Final Report of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism (1967-69) Laurendeau-Dunton Commission

Les belles-soeurs (1968) Michel Tremblay

Federalism and the French Canadians (1968) Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Nègres blancs d'Amérique (White Niggers of America) (1968) Pierre Vallières

Fifth Business (1970) Robertson Davies

Gentlemen, Players and Politicians (1970) Dalton Camp

Silent Surrender: The Multinational Corporation in Canada (1970) Kari Levitt

The Blacks in Canada: A History (1971) Robin Winks

The Bush Garden: Essays on the Canadian Imagination (1971) Northrop Frye

Lives of Girls and Women (1971) Alice Munro

Paul Kane's Frontier (1971) J. Russell Harper

Red Lights on the Prairies (1971) James H. Gray

La Sagouine (1971) Antonine Maillet

The Last Spike (1972) Pierre Berton

Leaving Home (1972) David French

Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature (1972) Margaret Atwood

Howie Meeker's Hockey Basics (1973) Howie Meeker

The Temptations of Big Bear (1973) Rudy Wiebe

Ten Lost Years: 1929-1939 (1973) Barry Broadfoot

Alligator Pie (1974) Dennis Lee

The Siren Years: A Canadian Diplomat Abroad (1974) Charles Ritchie

Bear (1976) Marian Engel

A Very Double Life: The Private World of Mackenzie King (1976) C. P. Stacey

Duplessis (1976) Conrad Black

A New Athens (1977) Hugh Hood

The Wars (1977) Timothy Findley

Obasan (1981) Joy Kogawa

None Is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948 (1982) Irving Abella and Harold Troper

Radical Tories: The Conservative Tradition in Canada (1982) Charles Taylor

Banting: A Biography (1984) Michael Bliss

Neuromancer (1984) William Gibson

The Canadian Encyclopedia (1985)

The Handmaid's Tale (1985) Margaret Atwood

Report on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada (1985) Macdonald Commission

Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age (1989) Modris Eksteins

Solomon Gursky Was Here (1989) Mordecai Richler

Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing (1989) Tomson Highway

Trudeau and Our Times: The Heroic Delusion (1990) and The Magnificent Obsession (1990) Stephen Clarkson and Christina McCall

The Malaise of Modernity (1991) Charles Taylor

Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism (1993) Michael Ignatieff

Green Grass, Running Water (1993) Thomas King

The Stone Diaries (1993) Carol Shields

A Fine Balance (1995) Rohinton Mistry

The Group of Seven: Art for a Nation (1995) Charles Hill

The Jade Peony (1995) Wayson Choy

Nationalism Without Walls: The Unbearable Lightness of Being Canadian (1995) Richard Gwyn

The Unconscious Civilization (1995) John Ralston Saul

Yankee Go Home? Canadians and Anti-Americanism (1996) J. L. Granatstein

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams (1998) Wayne Johnston

A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879 to 1986 (1999) John Milloy

No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (1999) Naomi Klein

Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History (2000) Erna Paris

Fire and Ice (2003) Michael Adams

Dark Age Ahead (2004) Jane Jacobs