Canadian Women Novelists

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Throughout history, there have been many Canadian women novelists who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great Canadian female novelists such as Lucy Maud Montgomery, Margaret Atwood, Adrienne Clarkson, Louise Penny, Nellie McClung.
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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 
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.
 3 
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. 

 4 
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.

 5 
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.

 6 
Janette Oke
(Writer, Novelist, Children's writer)
Janette Oke
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1935
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Champion, Alberta
 7 
Margaret Laurence
(Novelist, Writer, Children's writer)
Margaret Laurence
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Neepawa
Died: January 5, 1987
 8 
Kelley Armstrong
(Novelist, Writer)
Kelley Armstrong
3
Birthdate: December 14, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Greater Sudbury
 9 
Miriam Toews
(writer)
Miriam Toews
3
Birthdate: May 21, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Steinbach
 10 
Tara Moss
(Author, Model)
Tara Moss
0
Birthdate: October 2, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Victoria, British Columbia
 11 
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.

 12 
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.
 13 
Gabrielle Roy
(Writer, Novelist)
Gabrielle Roy
2
Birthdate: March 22, 1909
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint Boniface
Died: July 13, 1983
 14 
Esi Edugyan
(Novelist)
Esi Edugyan
0
Birthdate: 1978 AD
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
 15 
Ann-Marie MacDonald
(Canadian Actress, Playwright, Author, and Broadcast Host)
Ann-Marie MacDonald
2
Birthdate: October 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: CFB Baden–Soellingen, Germany

Ann-Marie MacDonald is a Canadian actress, playwright, author, and broadcast host. Her maiden novel, Fall on Your Knees, received the Commonwealth Writers Prize. Ann-Marie MacDonald is perhaps best known for her play Goodnight Desdemona, which earned her several awards including the Governor General's Award for Drama, the Canadian Authors Association Drama Award, and the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award. 

 16 
Mariko Tamaki
(Canadian Writer and Artist Who Writes For 'DC Comics' and 'Marvel')
Mariko Tamaki
0
Birthdate: December 22, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

Mariko Tamaki is a Canadian writer and artist best known for her graphic novels like This One Summer and Skim. In 2016, she started writing for both DC Comics and Marvel. Mariko Tamaki is the recipient of several prestigious awards such as the Joe Shuster Award, Ignatz Award, and Doug Wright Award.

 17 
Mavis Gallant
(Canadian Writer Best Known For Her Short Stories)
Mavis Gallant
2
Birthdate: August 11, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: February 18, 2014

Mavis Gallant was a Canadian writer who specialized in writing short stories. A critically acclaimed writer, Gallant was honored with several prestigious awards including the Matt Cohen Prize. In addition to short stories, Mavis Gallant also wrote novels, plays, and essays.

 18 
Tanya Huff
(writer, science fiction writer)
Tanya Huff
2
Birthdate: September 26, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Halifax
 19 
Heather O'Neill
(Novelist, Poet)
Heather O'Neill
0
Birthdate: October 4, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
 20 
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
(Novelist and Science fiction writer)
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
0
Birthdate: April 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Baja California, Mexico
 21 
Nelly Arcan
(Novelist)
Nelly Arcan
2
Birthdate: March 5, 1973
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Quebec, Canada
Died: September 24, 2009
 22 
Mazo de la Roche
(Canadian Author Known for Her 'Jalna' Family Saga Novels)
Mazo de la Roche
2
Birthdate: January 15, 1879
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newmarket, Canada
Died: July 12, 1961

Canadian author Mazo de la Roche is best known for her 16-book Jalna series of novels. She became one of the most-loved family saga novelists of her time. She dictated much of her later work her adopted sister Clement, as she suffered from arthritis in her hands.

 23 
Eden Robinson
(Novelist, Writer)
Eden Robinson
0
Birthdate: January 19, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kitimat, British Columbia, Canada
 24 
Dionne Brand
(Poet, Novelist)
Dionne Brand
0
Birthdate: January 7, 1953
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Guayaguayare, Trinidad and Tobago
 25 
Judith Merril
(American-Canadian Science Fiction Writer, Editor and Political Activist)
Judith Merril
2
Birthdate: January 21, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 12, 1997

Sci-fi author Judith Josephine Grossman, better known by her pen-name, Judith Merril, is also known for editing several anthologies. After her father’s suicide, she was raised by her mother in the Bronx. That Only A Mother remains one of her best-known short stories and has been part of many anthologies.

 26 
Sarah Mlynowski
(Writer, Children's writer)
Sarah Mlynowski
2
Birthdate: January 4, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Montreal
 27 
Marie-Claire Blais
(Canadian Writer, Novelist, Poet, and Playwright)
Marie-Claire Blais
1
Birthdate: October 5, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Quebec, Canada
Died: November 30, 2021

Marie-Claire Blais is a French Canadian writer, poet, and playwright. Born into a blue-collar family, she was unable to pursue full-time education. However, she did attend a few classes at Université Laval and began her literary career at the age of 20. She eventually became a successful author with numerous novels, plays, and poetry collections to her name. 

 28 
Joy Kogawa
(Poet, Novelist)
Joy Kogawa
0
Birthdate: June 6, 1935
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
 29 
Anne Michaels
(Canadian Poet Known for the Beauty and Precision of Her Language and the Depth of Her Philosophical Themes)
Anne Michaels
2
Birthdate: April 15, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

Anne Michaels is a Canadian novelist and poet whose works have been published in over 45 countries. Her novels, such as Fugitive Pieces, have also been adapted into films. Michaels, who served as the poet laureate of Toronto from 2016 to 2019, has received several awards like the Orange Prize, the Lannan Award for Fiction, and the Guardian Fiction Prize.

 30 
Nancy Huston
(Novelist)
Nancy Huston
2
Birthdate: September 16, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Calgary, Canada
 31 
Marian Engel
(Novelist)
Marian Engel
0
Birthdate: May 24, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died: February 16, 1985
 32 
Catharine Parr Traill
(Canadian Author and Naturalist)
Catharine Parr Traill
1
Birthdate: January 9, 1802
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Southwark, England
Died: August 29, 1899

Catharine Parr Traill moved from England to Canada after her marriage and soon became one of the greatest authors of children’s and settlers’ literature of her time. Her writings reflected the charm of the Canadian countryside. Her letters to her mother in England were collated in The Backwoods of Canada.

 33 
June Callwood
(Journalist)
June Callwood
1
Birthdate: June 2, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chatham-Kent, Canada
Died: April 14, 2007

Known widely as Canada's Conscience, journalist, author, and activist June Callwood had been associated with several publications, such as The Globe and Mail. She also established some of the first charity centers for women in Canada, opposed abortion laws, and co-founded the Writer’s Union of Canada.

 34 
Anne Hébert
(Canadian Author and Poet)
Anne Hébert
1
Birthdate: August 1, 1916
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sainte-Catherine de Fossanbault, Canada
Died: January 22, 2000

Anne Hébert was a French Canadian poet and author who won the Governor General's Award, which is regarded as Canada's top literary honor, on three occasions. During her career, she also won other prestigious awards like the Molson Prize and the Ludger-Duvernay Prize. Hébert's works have been translated into many languages, including Spanish, English, and German.

 35 
Lisa Moore
(Writer)
Lisa Moore
0
Birthdate: March 28, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. John's, Canada
 36 
Susan Musgrave
(Canadian Poet, Novelist, and Children’s Writer)
Susan Musgrave
1
Birthdate: March 12, 1951
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santa Cruz, California, United States

Susan Musgrave is a Canadian poet and writer of children’s literature. She started writing as a child and published her first work when she was 16. She has authored several collections of poems, fiction, and children’s literature. Besides writing, she teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia. She was married to  Stephen Reid, a writer and convicted criminal. 

 37 
Antonine Maillet
(Acadian Author, Playwright and an Educator of Folklore)
Antonine Maillet
0
Birthdate: May 10, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bouctouche, New Brunswick, Canada

Acadian novelist and playwright Antonine Maillet initially taught literature and folklore at various institutes, such as the University of Montreal. She later worked as a scriptwriter and host for Radio-Canada, before penning popular works such as the play The Sagouine and the award-winning books Don l'Orignal and Pélagie-la-Charrette.

 38 
Larissa Lai
(Novelist)
Larissa Lai
1
Birthdate: 1967 AD
Birthplace: La Jolla, California, United States
 39 
Nicole Brossard
(Poet, Novelist)
Nicole Brossard
0
Birthdate: November 27, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Isabella Valancy Crawford
1
Birthdate: September 25, 1846
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 12, 1887

Isabella Valancy Crawford was a Canadian poet and writer. The author of Malcolm's Katie, a popular poem held in high regard in the history of Canadian poetry, Crawford is widely regarded as Canada's first major poet. She made a living using her skills as a freelance writer, one of the first Canadians to do so.

 41 
L.R. Wright
(Writer)
L.R. Wright
1
Birthdate: June 5, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saskatoon, Canada
Died: February 25, 2001
 42 
Audrey Thomas
0
Birthdate: November 17, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Binghamton, New York, United States
 43 
Germaine Guèvremont
0
Birthdate: April 16, 1893
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint-Jerome, Canada
Died: August 21, 1968
 44 
Constance Lindsay Skinner
(Canadian Writer, Historian, Critic, and Editor)
Constance Lindsay Skinner
0
Birthdate: December 7, 1877
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Quesnel, Canada
Died: March 27, 1939

Constance Lindsay Skinner was a Canadian writer, historian, critic, and editor. She is best remembered for her contributions to the Rivers of America Series, which was published by Farrar & Rinehart. Constance Lindsay Skinner is also remembered for her novel Good-Morning Rosamond, which was adapted into a three-act comedy.

 45 
Susan Goyette
(Canadian Poet and Novelist)
Susan Goyette
0
Birthdate: April 4, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sherbrooke, Canada

Susan Goyette is a Canadian novelist and poet whose first poetry book was nominated for several prestigious awards, including the 1999 Governor General's Award. In 2017, she served as a judge for the Griffin Poetry Prize. A celebrated writer, Susan Goyette was named Halifax's eighth poet laureate in April 2020.