The Great Canadian Novel…eh?

The Sex Life of the Amoeba


I know what you’re thinking: The Sex Life of the Amoeba is obviously a favourite of most pre-juvenile detention boys and girls and current Super Max facility residents, but is it the Great Canadian Novel? Let’s read the blurb on the back cover, shall we?

A novel about passions — a passion for sex, a passion for America, and a passion for movie-making. Sarah Fielding wants to turn the great Canadian novel into a ‘quality’ movie, but the sex-mad producer, the deluded Hollywood star, and the ‘authentic’ young actor have their own thoughts about how it should unfold. Will Sarah triumph? Not likely.

Riveting? Very much so. Salaciously scandalous? Is the bear Catholic? Does the Pope poop in the woods? ‘Nough said.

A couple of months ago, CBC published a list of 12 books it thought should be taught in high schools (but presumably were not being taught at many/most high schools). The list included some big names and heavyweight titles such as William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes (otherwise known as Someone Knows My Name, as it was published in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand…what’s wrong with you, Yanks, Wallabies and Kiwis!), Douglas Coupland’s Generation X, and Thomas King’s The Inconvenient Indian.

Taking this one step further, I asked my book club colleagues and fellow curlers not long ago if they could think of The Great Canadian Novel. While we came up with some of the usual suspects (Alias Grace, In the Skin of a Lion, Barney’s Version, Fifth Business, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, Lives of Girls and Women), there was no unanimous agreement as to The Great Canadian Novel.

So, in the spirit of the literary awards season now upon us, I want to open this up to visitors to my site. What in your esteemed opinion is The Great Canadian Novel? Cast your vote by emailing me at I’ll announce the winner on November 1.






Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Comments are closed.