Fiction that reconsiders, challenges, reshapes, and/or upholds national narratives of history has long been an integral aspect of Canadian literature. Works by writers of historical fiction (from early practitioners such as John Richardson to contemporary figures such as Alice Munro and George Elliott Clarke) propose new views and understandings of Canadian history and individual relationships to it. Critical evaluation of these works sheds light on the complexity of these depictions. The contributors in National Plots: Historical Fiction and Changing Ideas of Canada critically examine texts with subject matter ranging from George Vancouver's west coast explorations to the eradication of the Beothuk in Newfoundland. Reflecting diverse methodologies and theoretical approaches, the essays seek to explicate depictions of the historical in individual texts and to explore larger questions relating to historical fiction as a genre with complex and divergent political motivations and goals. Although the topics of the essays vary widely, as a whole the collection raises (and answers) questions about the significance of the roles historical fiction has played within Canadian culture for nearly two centuries.
Andrea Cabajsky is an assistant professor at the UniversitA(c) de Moncton, where she teaches and does research in comparative literature, especially English- and French-Canadian Studies. She has published widely on the literary history of nationalism in romantic and Victorian Canadian and British literatures and is currently developing the curriculum for an approved new masteras program in comparative Canadian literature at the UniversitA(c) de Moncton. Brett Josef Grubisic is a lecturer at the University of British Columbia and specializes in contemporary Canadian and UK fiction. His publications include Contra/diction (ed.), Carnal Nation (co-edited with Carellin Brooks), the City of Vancouver Book Award finalist The Age of Cities , and Understanding Beryl Bainbridge .