Canadian Literature since 1990

Fall 2014

Eden Robinson2

Eden Robinson

Dr. Reinhold Kramer

109 Original Building/Clark Hall


Office hours: 2:40-3:30 p.m. (Mon., Wed., Thur.)
Course Description:

This course examines recent Canadian novels, short stories, and poetry.  Fiction could include stories by Atwood, Redhill, and Bezmozgis, as well as novels by Robinson (Monkey Beach), Shields (The Stone Diaries), Kavanagh (Gaff Topsails), and Coles (The Fearsome Particles).  Poetry will consist of one or two books of poetry, possibly Coles’s Kurgan, Lynes’s  Left Fields, or Di Cicco’s The Honeymoon Wilderness.  Titles may change with little notice.



1.  Reading tests (on entire novels)      first class of each novel & 3 Nov.      10%

2.  Class Participation                                                                                     10%

3.  In-class Essay/Test                                     10 Oct.                                   20%

4.  Term Paper (10-12 pages)                           1 Dec.                                    20%

5.  Final Exam                                                 Dec. 18, 2-4 p.m.                     40%


Note:  There may be penalties for lateness, depending upon circumstances.  Reading tests cannot be postponed and missed tests cannot be rewritten without a doctor’s note or other documentation.  Cite all your sources – assignments containing plagiarism will be graded “0” and will result in disciplinary action.  See BU General Calendar 4.2.2 “Academic Integrity.”  No cell phones in class.

For the very shy:  in place of “class participation” you may hand in, 5 times during the course, short (1 page, double-spaced, typed) commentaries, not plot summaries, on the text under discussion that day.  These commentaries must be handed in before we discuss the reading in class, and are worth 2% each.

No commentaries will be accepted after class discussions for any reason.

Students with disabilities who require accommodation should register with the Disability Services Coordinator.  Some students may find readings and/or discussions of controversial matters troubling.  If so, contact the instructor immediately for alternative assignments or an alternative course.



Outstanding    A+  90 & up                A    84-89        A-   80-83

Good               B+ 77-79                     B   74-76         B-  70-73

Satisfactory     C+ 67-69                     C   64-66         C-  60-63

Weak               D+ 57-59                     D   54-56         D-  50-53

Inadequate      F 0-49



Brown, Russell & Donna Bennett, Canadian Short Stories, Penguin.

Cole, Trevor.  The Fearsome Particles.  McClelland.

Coles, Don.  Kurgan.  Porcupine’s Quill.

Kavanagh, Patrick.  Gaff Topsails.  Cormorant.

Norman, Colin.  Writing Essays:  A Short Guide.  2nd ed.  Queen’s. (optional)

Robinson, Eden.  Monkey Beach.  Random House.

Shields, Carol.  The Stone Diaries.  Random House.


Tentative Schedule:

Sept. 3                 introduction

5                   Atwood, “Death by Landscape” (1991)

8                    Munro, “Open Secrets” (1994)

10-24            Shields, The Stone Diaries (1993)

19                  no class

Sept. 26-Oct. 8     Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach (2000)

10                 Test


13       No class (Thanksgiving)

15       Redhill, “Human Elements” (2003)

17       Coles, “On a Caspar David Friedrich Painting,” Kurgan No.10,”

                           “These Photos of the Children”

20          “Gone Out Is Part of Sanity,” “Knights of the Round Table,” “Romance”

22          “Nurseryschoolers,” “Lonelyhearts,” “Tolstoy Poems,”

                           “A View from the Side”


Oct. 24-Nov. 14   Kavanagh, Gaff Topsails (1996)

Oct. 10                No class (Study break)


Nov. 17-28          Cole, The Fearsome Particles (2006)

Dec. 1                  Taylor, “The Resurrection Plant” (2002)

                            Paper  Due

3                  Bezmozgis, “The Second Strongest Man” (2004)

5                  Review


Dec. 18               Final Exam 2-4 p.m.