Famous 20th Century Canadian Writers

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 1 
Margaret Atwood
(Poet, Novelist, Literary Critic & Environmental Activist)
Margaret Atwood
30
Birthdate: November 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian poet and novelist. Her works encompass themes, such as religion and myth, climate change, and gender and identity. An award-winning writer, many of Atwood's works have been made into films and television series; her work, The Handmaid's Tale, has had several adaptations. Perhaps, Margaret Atwood's most important contribution is her invention of the LongPen device.

 2 
Malcolm Gladwell
(Author of 'The Tipping Point', 'Blink', and 'Outliers')
Malcolm Gladwell
7
Birthdate: September 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fareham, United Kingdom
Malcolm Gladwell is best known for his bestselling books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. He has also written for The New Yorker and The Washington Post. His writings encompass subjects such as psychology, economics, and sociology. Gladwell has also co-founded a podcast company and hosts the podcast Revisionist History.
 3 
William Gibson
(Science-Fiction Writer Known for His Novel ‘Neuromancer’ and a Pinoeer of 'Cyberpunk' Genre)
William Gibson
6
Birthdate: March 17, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Conway, South Carolina, United States

William Gibson is an American-Canadian essayist and speculative fiction writer. He is widely credited with pioneering cyberpunk, a science fiction subgenre. His early works, which he produced during the late-1970s and early-1980s, helped create an iconography for the information age even before the dawn of the Internet in the 1990s. William Gibson is also credited with coining the term cyberspace.

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 4 
Jane Jacobs
(Journalist and Author Best Known for Her Book ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’)
Jane Jacobs
4
Birthdate: May 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: April 25, 2006

American-Canadian journalist Jane Jacobs is best known for her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. A specialist in urban culture and its issues, she was one of the few women who excelled in a male-dominated field. The Vincent Scully Prize winner was initially scorned at as a housewife.

 5 
Naomi Klein
(Canadian Author and Activist Best Known for Her Books: ‘No Logo’, ‘The Shock Doctrine’ and ‘This Changes Everything’)
Naomi Klein
5
Birthdate: May 5, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada

Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker Naomi Klein is known for her criticism of corporate globalization and capitalism. She became internationally known following the release of her alter-globalization book No Logo. She often appears on global and national lists of top influential thinkers and is the recipient of the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize. She is a prominent environmentalist as well.

 6 
Saul Bellow
(Writer)
Saul Bellow
4
Birthdate: June 10, 1915
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lachine, Montreal, Canada
Died: April 5, 2005
 7 
Jordan Peterson
(Canadian Clinical Psychologist and Author)
Jordan Peterson
5
Birthdate: June 12, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edmonton, Canada

Canadian clinical psychologist, writer and YouTuber, Jordan Peterson became internationally known in the 2010s for his views on cultural and political issues. He propogates his views and ideas primarily through YouTube and podcasts. He has shared many videos and podcasts that have received millions of views.

Lucy Maud Montgomery
5
Birthdate: November 30, 1874
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New London, Canada
Died: April 24, 1942
Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery is best remembered for her iconic novel Anne of Green Gables and its sequels. She had also authored countless short stories, poems, and essays. Most of her novels are set in her native Prince Edward Island. She was honored with the OBE.
 9 
James Doohan
(Screenwriter, Television actor, Film actor, Actor, Novelist, Science fiction writer)
James Doohan
4
Birthdate: March 3, 1920
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vancouver
Died: July 20, 2005

Canadian actor James Doohan was initially a soldier in the Canadian army and had even sustained injuries in World War II. He later soared to fame with his Saturn Award-nominated role of Montgomery Scott in the Star Trek film and TV franchise. He also voiced the character in various video games.

 10 
Steven Pinker
(Cognitive Psychologist and Advocate of Evolutionary Psychology and the Computational Theory of Mind)
Steven Pinker
4
Birthdate: September 18, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada

Steven Pinker is a Canadian-American linguist, cognitive psychologist, and popular science author. He is also a supporter of the computational theory of mind and evolutionary psychology. His works have earned him awards from organizations like the National Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and the American Humanist Association. In 2013, he was named in Prospect magazine's World Thinkers list.

 11 
Denis Villeneuve
(Film Director, Screenwriter, Playwright)
Denis Villeneuve
4
Birthdate: October 3, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada

Known for directing critically acclaimed movies, such as Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve was adjudged Filmmaker of the Decade in 2019 by the Hollywood Critics Association. One of the most popular and respected filmmakers of the current generation, Denis Villeneuve's films have had a major impact all over the world.

 12 
Chrystia Freeland
(10th Deputy Prime Minister of Canada )
Chrystia Freeland
5
Birthdate: August 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Peace River, Canada
Known as the Minister of Everything, Christina Freeland is Canada’s 10th deputy prime minister. She is also Canada’s finance minister and the first woman to hold the office. She has previously worked with the Financial Times, Thomson Reuters, and The Globe and Mail. She has also authored a bestselling book. 
 13 
Todd McFarlane
(Comic book artist best known as the creator of the popular Spawn comics.)
Todd McFarlane
4
Birthdate: March 16, 1961
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Calgary, Canada

Todd McFarlane is a Canadian writer, artist, comic book creator, filmmaker, and entrepreneur. Renowned for his artistic work on The Amazing Spider-Man, Todd became a comic book superstar during the 1980s and 1990s for his work on the Spider-Man franchise. As an entrepreneur, Todd McFarlane is credited with founding Todd McFarlane Productions and its subsidiary McFarlane Toys.

 14 
David Brooks
(Journalist)
David Brooks
4
Birthdate: August 11, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toronto

David Brooks is a Canadian-born American conservative political commentator. Having worked with popular publications like The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and Newsweek, Brooks is currently contributing as a writer for The New York Times. Also an educator, David Brooks has taught at prestigious institutions like the Sanford School of Public Policy and Yale University.

 15 
Alice Munro
(Canadian Short Story Writer and Winner of 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Alice Munro
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wingham, Canada

Her mother’s struggle with Parkinson's disease pushed Alice Munro into reading as an escape route. Munro later became a housewife, but soon soared to fame for her short story collections such as Too Much Happiness. The Canadian author later won the Nobel Prize and the Man Booker Prize, too.

 16 
Robin Sharma
(Writer, Public Speaker)
Robin Sharma
4
Birthdate: June 16, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Port Hawkesbury

Canadian writer Robin Sharma is best known for his The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari book series. A qualified lawyer, he is an alumnus of the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. He has published several books on stress management and spirituality. He is the founder of the training company Sharma Leadership International.

 17 
Win Butler
(Songwriter, Singer, Composer, Poet, Guitarist)
Win Butler
5
Birthdate: April 14, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Truckee, California, United States

Win Butler is an American-Canadian multi-instrumentalist, musician, singer, and songwriter. He is credited with co-founding the popular Canadian indie rock band, Arcade Fire. Also a humanitarian, Butler contributed to a charity record named Do They Know It's Hallowe'en as part of a UNICEF benefit project. A multi-talented personality, Win Butler often participates in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

 18 
Gavin McInnes
(Canadian Writer, Podcaster, Political Commentator and Co-Founder of ‘Vice Media’)
Gavin McInnes
11
Birthdate: July 17, 1970
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hitchin, England, United Kingdom

Described as a far-right, writer and political commentator Gavin McInnes is said to be anti-Islam, anti-Semitism and a racist. He has also been accused of inciting violence. He is the founder of ‘Proud Boys’, dubbed an extremist group with links to white nationalism. In 2018, he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for promoting hate speech.

 19 
Mark Steyn
(Canadian Author and a Radio and Television Presenter)
Mark Steyn
4
Birthdate: December 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

Canadian author Mark Steyn is best known for his bestselling books such as America Alone and After America. A political commentator and critic, too, he has been in the news for his controversial comments on the LGBT community. He has also hosted Fox shows such as Tucker Carlson Tonight.

 20 
A. E. van Vogt
3
Birthdate: April 26, 1912
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gretna, Canada
Died: January 26, 2000

A. E. van Vogt was a Canadian author whose bizarre narrative style had a major impact on many future science fiction writers like Philip K. Dick. One of the most influential and popular science fiction writers of the mid-twentieth century, van Vogt was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1996.

 21 
Louise Penny
(Canadian Author of Mystery Novels Set in the Canadian Province of Quebec)
Louise Penny
6
Birthdate: July 1, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Once a CBC journalist, Louise Penny is now an award-winning mystery writer. Her bestselling Armand Gamache series of novels have been published in over 20 languages. The five-time Agatha Award-winning author has also launched an award for budding Canadian mystery writers. She had met her husband on a blind date.
 22 
Albert S. Ruddy
(Film producer, Screenwriter)
Albert S. Ruddy
3
Birthdate: March 28, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montreal
 23 
David Frum
(Journalist)
David Frum
5
Birthdate: June 30, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
 24 
Keegan Connor Tracy
7
Birthdate: December 3, 1971
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Windsor, Ontario Windsor, Ontario, Canada
 25 
Meg Tilly
(Actress)
Meg Tilly
4
Birthdate: February 14, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, USA

Meg Tilly is an actress best known for her role in the drama mystery film Agnes of God, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She began her career as a dancer and eventually took up acting roles. She loves to write as a hobby and is the author of many novels. 

 26 
Diana Hart
(Model, Writer)
Diana Hart
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
 27 
Paul Hellyer
(Politician, Ufologist, Writer)
Paul Hellyer
3
Birthdate: August 6, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Waterford, Ontario
 28 
Margaret Trudeau
(Author, Actress)
Margaret Trudeau
6
Birthdate: September 10, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada
 29 
David Shore
(Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer, Writer, Lawyer)
David Shore
3
Birthdate: July 3, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London
 30 
Tom Cochrane
(musician)
Tom Cochrane
3
Birthdate: May 14, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lynn Lake, Canada
 31 
Paul Haggis
(Director, screenwriter, and producer who won the Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture for the 2004 film Crash)
Paul Haggis
4
Birthdate: March 10, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ontario, Canada
 32 
Leonard Cohen
(One of the Most Accomplished Canadian Folk-Rock Singer-Songwriters of His Generation)
Leonard Cohen
0
Birthdate: September 21, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Westmount, Canada
Died: November 7, 2016

Leonard Cohen was one of the most popular Canadian celebrities of all time. After starting his career as a poet and novelist, Leonard went on to become a famous singer-songwriter, exploring themes like sexuality, religion, depression, and romantic relationships in his work. Leonard Cohen was one of the inspirations for Steven Clark and Matthew Bissonnette's 2002 film Looking for Leonard.

 33 
Serge Monast
(Journalist)
Serge Monast
4
Birthdate: 1945 AD
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: December 5, 1996

Serge Monast was a Québécois investigative journalist, poet, and essayist. He was also known as a conspiracy theorist. He wrote extensively on the theme of the New World Order in the 1990s and was particularly inspired by the works of fellow conspiracy theorist William Guy Carr. Project Blue Beam (NASA) is one of his most popular works. 

 34 
Gail Simmons
(Writer)
Gail Simmons
4
Birthdate: May 19, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
 35 
Manly Hall
(Writer, Philosopher)
Manly Hall
3
Birthdate: March 18, 1901
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Peterborough, Canada
Died: August 29, 1990
 36 
Steven Erikson
(Anthropologist, Writer)
Steven Erikson
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Toronto

Canadian novelist Steven Erikson is best-known for authoring the widely acclaimed ten-volume epic-fantasy series Malazan Book of the Fallen. Other notable works of Erikson include The Kharkanas Trilogy, a prequel to Malazan Book of the Fallen series; the Willful Child Trilogy, a spoof on Star Trek; and The Witness Trilogy, first novel of which is planned for a November-2021 release.

 37 
John McCrae
(Poet and Soldier Best Known as the Author of War Memorial Poem 'In Flanders Fields')
John McCrae
4
Birthdate: November 30, 1872
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Died: January 28, 1918

Best known for his iconic war poems such as In Flanders Fields, Canadian poet John McCrae was also an army physician. He was the first Canadian to serve as a consulting surgeon for the British Army and had earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Army.

 38 
Lisa Jakub
(Writer)
Lisa Jakub
4
Birthdate: December 27, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
 39 
Anna Olson
(Television show host, cookbook author, and pastry chef)
Anna Olson
3
Birthdate: May 4, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
 40 
Emma Donoghue
(Novelist)
Emma Donoghue
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Alex Awards winning Irish-Canadian playwright, literary historian, short story writer, novelist, and screenwriter Emma Donoghue is best known for authoring award winning novels like Room and Hood. Room, an international best-seller, was adapted into a film bearing same title that not only emerged as a critical and commercial success but also garnered four Oscar nominations at the 88th Academy Awards.

 41 
Brent Butt
(Actor, Writer, Comedian)
Brent Butt
3
Birthdate: August 3, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tisdale, Canada

Best known as Brent Leroy from the Canadian sitcom Corner Gas, Brent Butt had initially worked as a drywaller and had also owned a publishing company. He then tasted success with stand-up comedy and later formed his own production company. He is also a 4-time Canadian Comedy Award winner.

 42 
Danny Antonucci
(Animator)
Danny Antonucci
3
Birthdate: February 27, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
 43 
Bilal Philips
(teacher, writer)
Bilal Philips
3
Birthdate: January 7, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kingston

Bilal Philips is a Canadian author, Islamic teacher, and speaker. He is best known for founding the International Open University where he is currently serving as the chancellor. Bilal Philips has written and commented on many Islamic books and has also appeared on numerous satellite and national television channels, such as Saudi TV, Peace TV, and Sharjah TV.

 44 
Yann Martel
(Author best known for the Man Booker Prize–winning novel Life of Pi)
Yann Martel
3
Birthdate: June 25, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Salamanca, Spain

Canadian author Yann Martel gained international fame with his Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi, which was later made into an Oscar-winning movie. Born to a diplomat and poet father, Martel lived in places such as Spain and France in childhood and worked odd jobs before he began writing.

 45 
Dan Hill
(Singer, Songwriter, Writer, Singer-songwriter)
Dan Hill
3
Birthdate: June 3, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Toronto
 46 
Rick Mercer
(Television presenter, Blogger, Screenwriter, Television producer, Actor, Writer, Author)
Rick Mercer
3
Birthdate: October 17, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: St. John's

Rick Mercer has almost become a Canadian national icon with his satire and comedy on Canadian politics. Known for his hit shows such as This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Made in Canada, and Rick Mercer Report, he has also earned over 25 Gemini Awards and the Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award.

 47 
Hiro Kanagawa
(Japanese-Canadian Actor and Playwright)
Hiro Kanagawa
3
Birthdate: October 13, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

Japanese-Canadian actor Hiro Kanagawa has appeared in many films such as Godzilla and series such as Legends of Tomorrow. He is also an award-winning playwright, noted for plays such as Indian Arm. He also voiced Reed Richards in the series Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes.

 48 
Guy Gavriel Kay
(Lawyer, Writer)
Guy Gavriel Kay
3
Birthdate: November 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Weyburn
 49 
Northrop Frye
(Literary theorist and philosopher who was best remembered for being one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century.)
Northrop Frye
4
Birthdate: July 14, 1912
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sherbrooke, Canada
Died: January 23, 1991

Considered one of the most important literary theorists of the century, Herman Northrop Fry gained international fame with his first book, Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake and later with Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. Prolific writer and respected educator, he went on to write many more, concurrently championing Canadian literature and identity, receiving several honors for his contributions.

 50 
Nellie McClung
(Writer, Human rights activist, Politician)
Nellie McClung
3
Birthdate: October 20, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chatsworth, Ontario, Canada
Died: September 1, 1951

Canadian author and social reformer Nellie McClung had struck gold with her first novel, Sowing Seeds in Danny, a bestseller. She also spoke widely about woman suffrage and was part of the Alberta legislature. She was part of The Famous Five, a group of women who launched the Persons Case.