Beginning in the 1890s, reaching its first full realization by modernist writers in the 1920s, and brought to its heyday during the Canadian Renaissance starting in the 1960s, the short story has become Canada's flagship genre. It continues to attract the country's most accomplished and innovative writers today, among them Margaret Atwood, Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro, Clark Blaise, and many others. Yet in contrast to the stature and popularity of the genre and the writers who partake in it, surprisingly little literary criticism has been devoted to the Canadian short story. This book redresses that imbalance by providing the first collection of critical interpretations of thirty well-known and often-anthologized Canadian short stories from the genre's beginnings through the twentieth century. A historical survey of the genre introduces the volume and a timeline comparing the genre's development in Canada, the US, and Great Britain completes it. Geared both to specialists in and students of Canadian literature, the volume is of particular benefit to the latter because it provides not only a collection of interpretations, but a comprehensive introduction to the history of the Canadian short story.
Contributors: Reingard M. Nischik, Martina Seifert, Heinz Antor, Julia Breitbach, Konrad Gross, Paul Goetsch, Dieter Meindl, Nina Kuck, Stefan Ferguson, Rudolf Bader, Fabienne C. Quennet, Martin Kuester, Jutta Zimmermann, Sylvia Mergenthal, Caroline Rosenthal, Wolfgang Klooss, Lothar Hoennighausen, Heinz Ickstadt, Heinz Ickstadt, Gordon Boelling, Christina Strobel, Waldemar Zacharasiewicz, Nadja Gernalzick, Eva Gruber, Brigitte Glaser, Georgiana Banita.
Reingard M. Nischik is Professor of American Literature at the University of Konstanz, Germany.
Remarkably accessible, ... generally shies away from unnecessary verbosity or jargon.... ideal for scholars interested in introductory overviews ... and for undergraduate courses... though it also extends beyond introductions....Shows the breadth and depth of the Canadian short story from a wide range of perspectives, theories, and approaches. H-NET REVIEWS
Canadian critics ... should welcome ... a big, handsomely produced book, [evidence of the international appreciation of the Canadian short story, appreciation that has often been touted but never demonstrated].... Impressive throughout is each contributor's knowledge of the writer and the amount of research done in secondary criticism.... AMERICAN REVIEW OF CANADIAN STUDIES
The interpretations ... are careful, compelling, accessible, and attentive to previous critics. CHOICE
A welcome addition to any library and a good point-of-departure for any student interested in one of the authors it includes. ANGLISTIK
With this thoughtfully designed and researched collection, Reingard M. Nischik and her CanLit team from the European German-speaking countries make a major contribution to the undeservedly small canon of literary criticism on Canadian short fiction. DALHOUSIE REVIEW
A magisterial, formidable volume . . . a milestone in Canadian Studies worldwide. ZEITSCHRIFT FUER KANADA-STUDIEN
[W]ill help students and scholars to refresh and complete their knowledge of the stories as well as discover their originality. Offers a panoramic view . . . highly welcome as a reference book. . . Very useful as a truly informative overview gifted with extremely perceptive approaches to the stories which make us "feel the road" as we read on. CANADIAN LITERATURE