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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the generations of writers who have succeeded the so-called giants of CanLit—Atwood, Ondaatje, Munro—and their relationship to the forces of literary celebrity. If literary celebrity in Canada is still being defined by the standards of success that earlier generations helped to establish, how are we to understand the cultural visibility of writers such as Lisa Moore, Sheila Heti, Christian Bök, David Chariandy, Larissa Lai, Rawi Hage, Shyam Selvadurai, Madeleine Thien, Esi Edugyan, and others? The author suggests that Canadian celebrity culture is moving into another phase—one that departs from the consecration of a few “major” stars in favour of a diversified field of literary production. However, many of the expectations of “literary success” remain mired in the literary culture of those previous generations of writers, whose success was enabled by a different combination of government arts policy and publishing conditions.

Keywords: literary celebrity, publishing, literary culture, arts policy, writers

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