In honour of Remembrance Day, we prepared a list of notable Canadian fiction and non-fiction books about war, sacrifice and patriotism.
Canada's Great War album: our memories of the First World War edited by Mark Reid
… A remarkable collection of Canadian photographs, memorabilia, and stories of the war. Two years ago, Canada's National History Society invited Canadians to tell their family stories from the First World War. Mark Collin Reid is the editor-in-chief and director of content development at Canada's History. He is the author of 100 Photos That Changed Canada. A graduate of Dalhousie University and the University of King's College, Reid lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba"
The Dogs are Eating Them Now: our war in Afghanistan by Graeme Smith
“A highly personal narrative of our war in Afghanistan and how it went dangerously wrong. Written by a former foreign correspondent, this is a gripping account of modern warfare that takes you into back alleys, cockpits and prisons. … A bold and candid look at the Taliban's continued influence--and at the mistakes, catastrophes and ultimate failure of the West's best intentions.”
Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter
The story of Henry Hayward, the protagonist of Winter's recently published novel, is of a man trying to put his life back together. Henry goes to Afghanistan as a civilian contractor working with the military, and witnesses the death of his best friend in a suicide bombing. A compelling portrait of someone who's a casualty of war in a psychological sense, Minister Without Portfolio was called "essential reading" by the National Post. –CBC Books
Valour Road by John Nadler
"Author John Nadler constructs a story of the three heroic soldiers, their families, and the enormous impact of WWI on a young Canada. This historic concurrence was so meaningful that a statue was erected in Winnipeg in tribute to these three ordinary soldiers, and their street was renamed Valour Road in their honour"
Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Boyden's haunting first novel tells the story of two Cree snipers scarred by their experiences on the battlefields of France and Belgium in the First World War. The book was inspired in part by the real-life aboriginal First World War hero Francis Pegahmagabow, and drew both popular and critical acclaim for its unflinching depiction of war's terrible toll. Three Day Road won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize in 2005 and the Books in Canada/Amazon First Novel Award in 2006, and was a Canada Reads contender in 2006. – CBC Books.
The Ravages of WWII: a soldier's story as told by Cpl. Morton Patrick Beazley (a.k.a Dunkirk).
“Morton Patrick Beazley was a corporal with the West Nova Scotia Regiment. He served the entire war with the regiment, from their landing in Italy through to the liberation of the Netherlands as a Bren gunner. He helped to blow up a German explosives truck, and drove a truck while under heavy fire to provide vital reinforcements. Morton Beazley is a lifelong resident of Halifax, Nova Scotia. At age 93, this is his first writing of his WW II experience.”
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.