Canadian Literature

Ref: C3742837

The course will give a general introduction to Canadian Literature and focus on novels by authors from the 1960s to the present day. These include Margaret Lawrence, Robertson Davies, Carol Shields and Mary Lawson and were chosen after some discussion with the group.

Course aim

To introduce students to Canadian Literature through novels by Margaret Lawrence, Robertson Davies, and other fiction by contemporary authors.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • The course is the latest in a number of fiction based courses run by the tutor in corroboration with a group of WEA students in Ivinghoe. New members are welcome

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand the growth and development of Canadian Literature and explain what makes it a distinctive branch of fiction.
  • Describe the background of the selected authors.
  • Read each novel critically and be able to evaluate in discussion.
  • Engage in readings from and discussion of each novel.
  • Identify and discuss any wider issues raised by the work.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • You will need a copy of the following novels: The Stone Angel (1964) by Margaret Lawrence What's Bred in the Bone (1985) by Robertson Davies The Stone Diaries (1993) by Carol Shields The Other Side of the Bridge (2006) by Mary Lawson

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • You will need to have read each novel before the session ascribed to it, roughly one every two weeks. Last year Granta published New Writing from Canada (no 141) which was edited by Madeleine Thien and is worth looking at.

What can I do next?

Download full course information sheet

Canadian Literature


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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