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Summer 2017


emergent, fiction, Canada, Canadian, experimental, post-industrial, romantic, speculative, comedic, ironic, Hollie Adams, Things you’ve inherited from your mother, Jean Marc Ah-Sen, Grand menteur, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, Let’s tell this story properly: Anthology of the commonwealth short story prize, Suzanne Alyssa Andrew, Circle of stones, Andrew Battershill, Pillow, Donna Besel, Lessons from a nude man, Carellin Brooks, One hundred days of rain, Christopher Canniff, Poor man’s Galapagos, Michael Christie, If I fall, if I die, Tim Conley, Dance moves of the near future, Carol Daniels, Bearskin diary, Salvatore Difalco, Mean season, Douglas Rhonda, Welcome to the circus, Eyamie Jeff, No escape from greatness, Katherine Fawcett, The little washer of sorrows, Joe Fiorito, Rust is a form of fire, Dayle Furlong, Saltwater cowboys, Connie Gault, A beauty, Mitchell Gauvin, Vandal confession, W. Mark Giles, Seep, John C. Goodman, The duck lake chronicles, Daniel Goodwin, Sons and fathers, James Grainger, Harmless, R.W. Gray, Entropic, Lisa Guenther, Friendly fire, Kevin Hardcastle, Debris, Wasela Hiyate, Travel is so broadening, dee Hobsbawn-Smith, What can’t be undone, Christine Rehder Horne, Tarstopping, June Hutton, Two gun & sun, Sharon Johnston, Matrons and madams, Shane Joseph, In the shadow of the conquistador, Anita Kushwaha, Escape artist, Shawna Lemay, Rumi and the red handbag, Paul Mason, Night drummer, Josh Massey, Plotline bomber of Innisfree, Bruce McDougall, Every minute is a suicide, Raymond McGregor, Blue knight, Elizabeth McLean, Swallows uncaged, Janet Turpin Myers, Last year of confusion, Coulter Myrl, Year of days, Elizabeth Philips, Afterlife of birds, Janette Platana, Token of my affliction, Jennifer Quist, Sistering, Jeanne Randolph, Shopping cart pantheism, Leo Brent Robillard, Road to Atlantis, J.P. Rodriguez, Escape, Joe Rosenblatt, Snake city, Catherine Hogan Safer, Wild pieces, Mark Sampson, Secrets men keep, Sigal Samuel, Mystics of mile end, Anakana Schofield, Martin John, Jon Chan Simpson, Chinkstar, Marina Sonkina, Expulsion and other stories, Mike Steeves, Giving up, Wendi Stewart, Meadowlark, Shawn Curtis Stibbards, Video watcher, Jess Taylor, Pauls, Sara Tilley, Duke, Sean Trinder, The guy who pumps your gas hates you, Alexis Von Konigslow, Capacity for infinite happiness, Caroline Vu, That summer in Provincetown, Jessica Wallace, Meet you there, Corinne Wasilewski, Live from the underground, David Zeroth, Zoo and crowbar


The sixty-four works of emergent fiction of 2015 evidence several noteworthy transitions in Canadian prose. While it is admittedly problematic to discuss the novels and collections of short stories as some form of unified whole, several patterns emerged that merit highlighting and demand critical attention because they represent new directions for Canadian fiction.

The texts mark the arrival of a new wave of literary experimentation that embraces risk-taking and the pursuit of novelty as fundamental characteristics of good art and great storytelling. The featured texts created wonderfully new ways to tell stories by inventing narrative techniques or breaking with generic conventions.


This is an author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in University of Toronto Quarterly following peer review. The version of record "McFarlane, B. (2017). Emergent fiction. University of Toronto Quarterly, 86(3), 1- 24." is available online at


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University of Toronto Quarterly



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Original Publication Citation

McFarlane, B. (2017). Emergent fiction. University of Toronto Quarterly, 86(3), 1-24.

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