Examining the centrality of the city in Canadian literary production post-1960, this collection of critical essays presents an interdisciplinary representation of the urban from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. By analysing contemporary Canadian literature (in English), the contributors intend to produce not only an alternative picture of the national literary traditions but also fresh articulations of the relationship between (Canadian) identity, citizenship, and nation. Since the 1960s, metropolitan regions across the world have experienced radical transformation. For critical urban studies scholars, this phenomenon has been described as a ‘restructuring’. This study argues that in Canada this ‘restructuring’ has been accompanied by a literary rearrangement of its canon, consisting of a gradual shift of focus from the wild or rural to the urban. Alluding to the changes within contemporary Canadian cities, the term ‘postmetropolis’ locates the contributors’ shared theoretical framework within a critical postmodern paradigm. Centered on a particular selection of poetic or fictional texts, each essay pushes the theoretical framework further, suggesting the need for new tools of interpretation and analysis. This book presents an urban literary portrait of Canada that is both thematically and conceptually coherent. Using a range of interdisciplinary methodologies, it adeptly navigates a range of urban issues such as surveillance, asylum, diaspora, mobility, the queer, and the post-political. This book will be of interest to those studying or working on Canadian literature, both in Canada and internationally, as well as to those scholars engaged in investigations that intersect literature and urban studies.
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