Department of English

University of Toronto

Exhibit: Strength in Numbers: The CanLit community

Occurs every week(s) on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday effective 1/27/2020 until 5/1/2020 at 5:03 PM.
Location: The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

Pages from the first handwritten draft of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Letters from Lucy Maud Montgomery and E. Pauline Johnson. Leonard Cohen's notebooks. Corrected galley proofs from Robertson Davies' Fifth Business. These are just a few highlights from the Fisher's literary archival collection on display in this exhibition honouring Canadian Literature.

Atwood, Ondaatje, Gallant, Davies. These names are familiar to anyone with even a passing interest in Canadian literature. But the writers are only one aspect of the CanLit story. As Graeme Gibson once remarked, the notion that writers function best in isolation is nonsense - rather, there is "strength in numbers." The writers, of course, are paramount, but the community includes so many others: editors, publishers, illustrators, marketers and booksellers are just a sampling of the individuals that make up the broad network of Canadian publishing. Drawing on the library's rich archival material, this exhibition will explore how CanLit and Canadian publishing have been shaped by our diverse community.

This exhibition is curated by the Fisher Library's Natalya Rattan and John Shoesmith.

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