Talking about the Top 10 lists: Amanda Leduc


CBC Books asked a few publishing insiders -- booksellers, authors and editors -- to reflect on and respond to the Canada Reads: Turf Wars Top 10 lists. Today, we present the thoughts of novelist Amanda Leduc.

What a delicious list! It's like the most sumptuous of feasts, except in book form. If these books were food, you'd have everything you could want on the table — tried-and-true goodies (like L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables), quirky dishes that delight and surprise (like Jessica Grant's Come, Thou Tortoise) and staples of Canadiana (Two Solitudes, anyone?) that continue to delight year after year.

Such a vast array of talented writers we have. It's so refreshing to look at these 50 books and think about the recipes that each of these writers has concocted, the different ways that they've taken their various regional flavours and created books that show particular slices of our equally vast (and equally sumptuous) country. I love how Angie Abdou has brought Canadian mountain culture to life in The Canterbury Trail. I also love that we have such a mix of old and new across the board. (Or, er, the table, as the case may be.) Seeing The Age of Hope and The Diviners together in the same group makes me proud of and hopeful for the future of literature in this country.

If I may be forgiven for unabashedly throwing most of my weight behind one book in particular, I'd have to say that my little heart is rooting for Kathleen Winter's Annabel. To me it's a novel that offers the best of everything that we admire in our literature: a thoroughly realized sense of place that manages, at the same time, to transcend the bounds of geography, gender and age and speak to the deep messiness inside of each of us.

Bring me a messy table, folks, filled with the tried-and-true and the quirky and the staples. I'll have multiple helpings of each!

Amanda Leduc is a Canadian novelist and essayist currently living in Hamilton, Ontario. She has won and been shortlisted for a number of awards, among them the 2012 PRISM International Short Fiction contest, the Prairie Fire Creative Non-Fiction contest, and the CBC Literary Awards. Her latest novel, The Miracles of Ordinary Men, will be published in the spring of 2013.

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