The Great Write North: The Best in CanCon from 2019

Image of a Canadian flag made of red maple leaves on a wooden board
02/20/2020

We Stand on Guard for These Captivating Canadian Titles

The Great Write North: The Best in CanCon from 2019

Canada enjoys a vast and diverse literary and cultural scene. Great Canadian content comes out every year, supported by robust literary festivals, a multitude of awards, reading competitions like CBC Canada Reads and audiences that are eager for homegrown stories that reflect the nuances of Canadian life.

If you feel like it’s tough to keep up with all the great Canadian stories coming out, it’s time to take a look at our genre spanning selection of Canadian audiobooks and reconnect with your roots. Taking time to listen to new local stories and prize-winning works from across the country can open up your world to new perspectives and give you a fresh understanding of Canada’s identity.

Scotiabank Giller Prize Winners

The 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize, sponsored in part by Audible, awarded $100,000 as its top prize in Canadian fiction excellence. The largest prize for fiction in Canada, it has been awarded to some of the country’s best writers, including Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, and more recent winners like Esi Edugyan, Madeleine Thien and André Alexis.

The 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner was Reproduction by Ian Williams. Set in the multicultural Toronto suburb of Brampton, it’s a story about choosing your family and forging bonds that are deeper than blood. The Scotiabank Giller Prize jury said that Reproduction was “an engrossing story of disparate people brought together and also a masterful unfolding of unexpected connections and collisions.”

To find the best in Canadian fiction from years past, check out these Scotiabank Giller Prize winning audiobooks from Canada’s best and brightest authors.

Brilliant panorama picture of mountains reflecting in Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

CBC Canada Reads

CBC Canada Reads is an annual competition hosted by the CBC where five celebrities champion the titles they think everyone in Canada should hear about. The 2020 defenders include personalities like Canadian YouTuber Alayna Fender and Akil Augustine, the host of NBA TV Canada. It’s a great program for getting Canadians engaged.

If you’re eager to listen to stories that reflect what it means to be Canadian, these CBC Canada Reads award winners are a great place to start. Listening to the winners of CBC Canada Reads is like joining one big audiobook club with members across the country. Every year, you have an opportunity to connect with people from all over Canada as you listen to the title everyone is talking about.

The 2019 winner was By Chance Alone by Max Eisen, a true story about surviving Auschwitz-Birkenau, escaping certain death and life in Communist Czechoslovakia before emigrating to Canada in 1949. It’s a story about perseverance and survival, and one that many new Canadians across generations can relate to.

By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz

Author:
Max Eisen
Narrator:
Douglas E. Hughes
Length:
5:59
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Internationally Recognized Talent

No guide to the best in CanCon from 2019 would be complete without mentioning Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, which garnered international acclaim as the winner of the prestigious Booker Prize, one of the leading literary awards for English fiction across the world. The Testaments is the sequel to Atwood’s award-winning The Handmaid’s Tale, picking up the story 15 years later.

The audiobook is brought to life with actors from the TV show voicing their characters in a multi-cast audiobook featuring Atwood herself. According to Atwood, the inspiration for the sequel was everything her audience had ever asked her about the inner workings of her setting. If you’ve always had questions about the world of The Handmaid’s Tale, you can’t miss this follow up.

The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition

Author:
Margaret Atwood, Valerie Martin - essay
Narrator:
Claire Danes, Ray Porter, Margaret Atwood, Tim Gerard Reynolds, full cast
Length:
12:06
Series:
The Handmaid's Tale
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

The Testaments: A Novel

Author:
Margaret Atwood
Narrator:
Ann Dowd, Bryce Dallas Howard, Mae Whitman, Derek Jacobi, Tantoo Cardinal, Margaret Atwood
Length:
13:18
Series:
The Handmaid's Tale
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Canadian Titles from Independent Publishers

Canada’s independent publishers offer voices from outside the mainstream. They’re willing to take chances on stories that might not otherwise see the light of day, but that are just as essential to Canada’s cultural identity.

One of the highlights from independent publishers comes from André Alexis’ latest title Days by Moonlight—a story about a road trip into an unearthly Southern Ontario filled with werewolves, witches and strange encounters. It’s an imaginative and unusual work that exemplifies the risks independent publishers take, and it’s an excellent example of how they introduce audiences to the lesser-known parts of Canada. Take the road less travelled with this title.

Days by Moonlight

Author:
André Alexis
Narrator:
André Alexis
Length:
7:37
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Listen to More Canada

Canada is home to incredible talent, and we want to make sure you have access to all the best new and classic Canadian audiobooks. Find more Canadian titles on Audible, including Books by Indigenous Authors – essential, award-winning fiction that can change how you understand life in Canada. Listening to Indigenous authors will challenge the way you think about the history and politics of this country. They’re essential listening for anyone who wants to broaden their understanding of Canada and its many voices.

Audible is your source for audiobooks in Canada and is also home to great Audible Original productions, comedy series and podcasts. One of the benefits of becoming a member is building your collection with one free title each month.

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