Famous Canadian Novelists

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The second largest country in the world, Canada has a rich cultural heritage being inhabited by diverse aboriginal groups, the French and the English. The influence of the country’s diversity is remarkably visible in its literature. The country has produced some of the greatest novelists of all time. A list of these famous Canadian novelists will be incomplete without the mention of Margaret Atwood, who wrote the Man Booker Prize winning ‘Blind Assassin’ and Michael Ondaatje whose award winning novel ‘The English Patient’ was adapted into a film. The movie also won an Academy Award. Ondaatje’s other work ‘In the Skin of a Lion’ became the most taught book in the country. Another notable novelist from the country is Robertson Davies who has the distinction of earning as many as twenty three honorary degrees. Stephen Leacock is a famous Canadian humor novelist whose works have stood the test of time and are adored by readers even after a century of being published. We bring to you a collection of biographies on some of most the famous Canadian novelists. Read on to know more about their life stories, timeline and achievements. You will also find some interesting facts and trivia about these personalities.
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 1 
Margaret Atwood
(Poet, Novelist, Literary Critic & Environmental Activist)
Margaret Atwood
7
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
5
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 
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.

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 4 
Saul Bellow
(Writer)
Saul Bellow
4
Birthdate: June 10, 1915
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lachine, Montreal, Canada
Died: April 5, 2005
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 5 
William Gibson
(Science-Fiction Writer Known for His Novel ‘Neuromancer’ and a Pinoeer of 'Cyberpunk' Genre)
William Gibson
4
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.

 6 
Louise Penny
(Canadian Author of Mystery Novels Set in the Canadian Province of Quebec)
Louise Penny
4
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.
 7 
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. 

 8 
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.

 9 
Grey Owl
(Writer, Novelist)
Grey Owl
3
Birthdate: September 18, 1888
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hastings
Died: April 13, 1938
 10 
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.

 11 
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.

 12 
Robert W. Service
(Poet & Writer)
Robert W. Service
4
Birthdate: January 16, 1874
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Preston, Lancashire, England
Died: September 11, 1958

Robert W. Service was a British-Canadian poet and writer. Popularly called "the Bard of the Yukon," he wrote some of the most commercially successful poetry of his era. A bank clerk by profession, he often wrote while traveling for work. Besides poetry, he also wrote fiction and non-fiction. He was often compared to English writer and novelist Rudyard Kipling. 

 13 
Guy Gavriel Kay
(Lawyer, Writer)
Guy Gavriel Kay
4
Birthdate: November 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Weyburn
 14 
Douglas Coupland
(Known for First Novel, the 1991 International Bestseller ‘Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture’)
Douglas Coupland
3
Birthdate: December 30, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: CFB Baden–Soellingen, Germany

Douglas Coupland is a Canadian novelist and artist who popularized the term “Generation X” mentioned in his international bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. He has published several novels, collections of short stories, and works of non-fiction. His art is frequently exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. 

 15 
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.

 16 
Arthur Hailey
(Writer, Novelist, Screenwriter)
Arthur Hailey
4
Birthdate: April 5, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Luton
Died: November 24, 2004
 17 
Ross Macdonald
3
Birthdate: December 13, 1915
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Gatos, California, United States
Died: July 11, 1983
 18 
Michael Ondaatje
(Canada's Most Renowned Living Authors)
Michael Ondaatje
0
Birthdate: September 12, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Michael Ondaatje is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian poet, writer, and filmmaker. Born in Sri Lanka, he eventually migrated to Canada. He studied at Bishop's University and embarked on a teaching career. His literary works include poems, novels, and essays. He is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including the Giller Prize and the Booker Prize. 

 19 
Rohinton Mistry
3
Birthdate: July 3, 1952
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bombay, India
 20 
Robertson Davies
(One of the Most Popular Canadian Authors of All Time)
Robertson Davies
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Thamesville
Died: December 2, 1995

Robertson Davies was a Canadian novelist, critic, playwright, professor, and journalist. One of the most popular Canadian authors of all time, Davies was honored with several prestigious awards such as the Dominion Drama Festival Award, the Stephen Leacock Award, the Lorne Pierce Medal, and the Governor-General's Literary Award.

 21 
Janette Oke
(Writer, Novelist, Children's writer)
Janette Oke
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1935
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Champion, Alberta
 22 
W. P. Kinsella
3
Birthdate: May 25, 1935
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edmonton, Canada
Died: September 16, 2016
 23 
Mordecai Richler
3
Birthdate: January 27, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: July 3, 2001
 24 
Margaret Laurence
(Novelist, Writer, Children's writer)
Margaret Laurence
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Neepawa
Died: January 5, 1987
 25 
Kelley Armstrong
(Novelist, Writer)
Kelley Armstrong
3
Birthdate: December 14, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Greater Sudbury
 26 
Farley Mowat
(One of the Best-Selling Canadian Writers Known for His Books: 'People of the Deer', 'Never Cry Wolf' )
Farley Mowat
3
Birthdate: May 12, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Belleville, Canada
Died: May 6, 2014

Canadian author and environmentalist Farley Mowat is best known for his books on his experiences as a naturalist. A zoology student at the University of Toronto, he dropped out without a degree. His bestselling novel People of the Deer related his concern about the plight of the Ihalmiut of the Arctic.

 27 
Joseph Boyden
(Novelist)
Joseph Boyden
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Willowdale, Toronto
 28 
Miriam Toews
(writer)
Miriam Toews
3
Birthdate: May 21, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Steinbach
 29 
David Morrell
(Novelist best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood)
David Morrell
3
Birthdate: April 24, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kitchener, Canada
 30 
Robert MacNeil
(Novelist, journalist, and TV news anchor best known for co-creating The MacNeil/Lehrer Report on PBS)
Robert MacNeil
3
Birthdate: January 19, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
 31 
Charles Templeton
(Journalist)
Charles Templeton
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1915
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Toronto
Died: June 7, 2001
 32 
A. E. van Vogt
(One of the Most Popular and Influential Practitioners of Science Fiction Writers in the Mid-20th Century)
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.

 33 
Evan Solomon
(Novelist)
Evan Solomon
2
Birthdate: April 20, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Toronto
 34 
Ed Greenwood
(Fantasy writer and the original creator of the Forgotten Realms game world)
Ed Greenwood
3
Birthdate: July 21, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canada
 35 
Linwood Barclay
3
Birthdate: March 22, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Darien, Connecticut, United States
 36 
Robert J. Sawyer
(Science fiction writer, Screenwriter, Writer)
Robert J. Sawyer
3
Birthdate: April 29, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ottawa

Robert J. Sawyer is a Canadian writer whose short fiction has appeared in popular magazines like On Spec, Amazing Stories, and Analog Science Fiction and Fact. An ardent supporter of Canadian science fiction, Sawyer played a key role in the establishment of the Canadian Region of SFWA. He has won many awards like the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award.

 37 
Thomas King
(Canadian Novelist, Short-Story Writer and Essayist)
Thomas King
3
Birthdate: April 24, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Roseville, California, United States

Thomas King is a Canadian broadcast presenter and writer best known for his books and interviews about the aboriginal people and their rights. Many of his works have earned prestigious awards. His book A Short History of Indians in Canada was honored with the McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award in 2006.

 38 
Simon Newcomb
(Astronomer, Mathematician, Economist, Novelist, Writer, Teacher, University teacher, Science fiction writer)
Simon Newcomb
3
Birthdate: March 12, 1835
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nova Scotia
Died: July 11, 1909

Initially a herbalist’s apprentice, Simon Newcomb later deviated to mathematics and astronomy. Born to a schoolteacher, he had loved math since age 5 but wasn’t formally educated. He later joined Harvard University, taught math at the US Navy, detected locations of celestial bodies, and wrote a science-fiction novel, too.

 39 
John Ralston Saul
(Philosopher, Novelist, Writer)
John Ralston Saul
3
Birthdate: June 19, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ottawa
 40 
Tara Moss
(Author, Model)
Tara Moss
0
Birthdate: October 2, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Victoria, British Columbia
 41 
Patrick deWitt
(novelist, writer)
Patrick deWitt
3
Birthdate: 1975 AD
Birthplace: Vancouver Island
 42 
Susanna Moodie
(British-Born Canadian Author Who Wrote About Her Experiences as a Settler in Canada)
Susanna Moodie
3
Birthdate: December 6, 1803
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bungay, England
Died: April 8, 1885

English-Canadian writer Susanna Moodie is best known for her realistic depictions of her life in “the bush” or the wilderness of Canada, which was a British colony back in her time. Her most popular work remains Roughing it in the Bush. She had initially also penned several children’s stories.

 43 
Charles de Lint
(Novelist, Writer, Poet, Musician)
Charles de Lint
2
Birthdate: December 22, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bussum

Charles de Lint is a Canadian writer who primarily writes fantasy fiction in the subgenres of urban fantasy,  mythic fiction, and contemporary magical realism. He is considered one of the pioneers of the genre of urban fantasy. His most popular works include Widdershins and The Blue Girl. He is married to  MaryAnn Harris, who is also his business manager. 

 44 
Peter Wildeblood
(Anglo-Canadian Novelist, Playwright, and Gay Rights Campaigner)
Peter Wildeblood
2
Birthdate: May 19, 1923
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Alassio, Italy
Died: November 14, 1999

Peter Wildeblood was an Anglo-Canadian novelist, journalist, gay rights campaigner, and playwright. One of the first men to declare his homosexuality in the UK, Wildeblood's career was largely overshadowed by his struggles against the law. Peter Wildeblood penned down his experiences as an openly gay man in a book titled Against the Law.

 45 
Carol Shields
(Novelist)
Carol Shields
2
Birthdate: June 2, 1935
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died: July 16, 2003
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Canadian novelist Carol Shields was known for capturing and highlighting domesticity in her writings. Most of her writings centred around the lives of women, the genesis of art, notions of gender, etc. Her seventh novel, The Stone Diaries, won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction (1995), and was shortlisted for a Booker Prize.
 46 
Spider Robinson
(Novelist, Writer, Science fiction writer)
Spider Robinson
2
Birthdate: November 24, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City

Spider Robinson is a musician and science fiction author best known for his humorous stories and hard science fiction. Over the course of his illustrious career, Spider Robinson has won many prestigious awards, such as the Hugo Award, John W. Campbell Award, and Nebula Award. At the 2018 World Science Fiction Convention, Spider Robinson was named a Guest of Honor.

 47 
Gabrielle Roy
(Writer, Novelist)
Gabrielle Roy
2
Birthdate: March 22, 1909
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint Boniface
Died: July 13, 1983
 48 
Gordon R. Dickson
(Canadian-American Science Fiction Writer Best Known for His 'Childe Cycle' and 'Dragon Knight' Series)
Gordon R. Dickson
2
Birthdate: November 1, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edmonton, Canada
Died: January 31, 2001

Gordon R. Dickson was an influential science fiction writer whose 1969 novel Wolfling inspired the creation of the lightsaber, a sword showcased in the Star Wars franchise. During his illustrious career, Dickson won many prestigious awards, including three Hugo Awards and a Nebula Award. In 2000, he was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. 

 49 
Steven Galloway
(Novelist)
Steven Galloway
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vancouver
 50 
Esi Edugyan
(Novelist)
Esi Edugyan
0
Birthdate: 1978 AD
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada