Kanata: A Novel

Paperback | November 2, 2010

byDon Gillmor

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From the author of Canada: A People’s History comes an epic story about the invention of our nation.

In 1759 in Quebec, the battle for a continent took place between British forces commanded by a desperate, suicidal general and French forces commanded by a Marquis who was desperate to leave Quebec. The battle lasted less than thirty minutes. The continent was won, but the prize was still largely an abstraction. Two million square miles of the West were unmapped and unexplored.

David Thompson, a Welshman who came to the New World at the age of fifteen, became its greatest cartographer. He walked or paddled 80,000 miles and mapped 1.9 million square miles, cataloguing flora and fauna as well as the language and customs of Native peoples. But although he’d been described as the greatest land geographer who ever lived, he died impoverished and virtually unknown.

Following the lives of Thompson’s illegitimate son and his descendants, Kanata takes readers on a fictionalized, multigenerational journey through millennia and across a continent to examine the stories, myths, and legends of those who formed the country and were formed by it.

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From the Publisher

From the author of Canada: A People’s History comes an epic story about the invention of our nation. In 1759 in Quebec, the battle for a continent took place between British forces commanded by a desperate, suicidal general and French forces commanded by a Marquis who was desperate to leave Quebec. The battle lasted less than thirty m...

Don Gillmor is the author of Canada: A People’s History and The Desire of Every Living Thing. The winner of nine National Magazine Awards, he is a frequent contributor to The Walrus, Toronto Life, and The Globe and Mail. He lives in Toronto.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:520 pages, 8.24 × 5.31 × 1.36 inPublished:November 2, 2010Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143054422

ISBN - 13:9780143054429

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Customer Reviews of Kanata: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Sadly Disappointing I picked up this book looking for a wonderful novel written about a country I love. Unfortunately, it left me disappointed. I struggled to identify exactly what the storyline was and how the plot would develop. What was written on the back was a small glimpse into a complicated narrative of several different characters... and for the most part while reading I was trying to identify how these characters were linked and how they fit into the story.I felt the book could have been developed much better. About halfway through, the book did pick up and finally started to clearly outline the main characters and it did give a vivid and creative stories around the great figures of Canada's history.
Date published: 2011-01-31

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Editorial Reviews

“You certainly can’t fault Don Gillmor for lack of ambition … [Kanata is a] maple-flavoured match for that Great American Novel, John Dos Passos’s U.S.A. (And to give Gillmor extra points for audacity, he aims to do in one book what took Dos Passos a trilogy.)… A compelling work … Kanata will make you feel a little less lost when you think of your place in Canada.” - Winnipeg Free Press“With the bravura of E.L. Doctorow and the elemental force of Cormac McCarthy, Kanata captures the heartbeat of a continent, in a language as visceral and raw as the landscape and lives it chronicles. This is history made flesh, unerring in its portrait of how we make history and are made by it.” - Nino Ricci, author of The Origin of Species“Don Gillmor may well have written ‘The Great Canadian Novel’ here. In casting the country as the main character, in tracking Canada through the story and bloodlines of explorer David Thompson, he has shown Canadians their country as never before seen or imagined. Brilliantly written, Kanata is a breathtaking achievement—and one that should bury, forever, the ridiculous notion that Canadian history is dull. It is not; under Don Gillmor’s hand, it is a page-turner.” - Roy MacGregor, author of Canadians: A Portrait of a Country and Its People.“Unforgettable [and] stunning … Gillmor has such a firm grip on his factual material and the story he’s created to link those facts together. Kanata should be required reading for immigrants to Canada, but the beauty of the book is that it will also appeal to anyone looking for a good yarn rich with detail.” - Edmonton Journal“Gillmor’s descriptive writing sings of colour. He creates vivid portraits of a young land endeavouring to reach maturity, its inhabitants challenged by natural disasters, wars and natural disputes, but constantly struggling not to be defeated … it sure brings Canadian history to life.” - The Guelph Mercury“Don Gillmor dares to write nothing less than the history of the nation in novel form, with a legendary explorer up front…. Gillmor[’s] style—direct, wry and dramatically astute—might most reasonably be described as Pierre Berton by way of Don DeLillo and HBO….” - The Toronto Star“An ambitious Canadian novel … Fine and demanding reading.” - Randy Boyagoda, National Post“[A] snappily written, fast-paced piece of historical fiction.” - The Globe And Mail