The Most Famous

WRITERS from Canada

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This page contains a list of the greatest Canadian Writers. The pantheon dataset contains 5,794 Writers, 39 of which were born in Canada. This makes Canada the birth place of the 28th most number of Writers behind Belgium and Denmark.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Canadian Writers of all time. This list of famous Canadian Writers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Canadian Writers.

Photo of Lucy Maud Montgomery

1. Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874 - 1942)

With an HPI of 78.79, Lucy Maud Montgomery is the most famous Canadian Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 47 different languages on wikipedia.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942), published as L. M. Montgomery, was a Canadian author best known for a series of novels beginning in 1908 with Anne of Green Gables. The book was an immediate success. The title character, orphan Anne Shirley, made Montgomery famous in her lifetime and gave her an international following.The first novel was followed by a series of sequels with Anne as the central character. Montgomery went on to publish 20 novels as well as 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays. Most of the novels were set in Prince Edward Island, and locations within Canada's smallest province became a literary landmark and popular tourist site – namely Green Gables farm, the genesis of Prince Edward Island National Park. She was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1935. Montgomery's work, diaries, and letters have been read and studied by scholars and readers worldwide.

Photo of Alice Munro

2. Alice Munro (1931 - )

With an HPI of 77.36, Alice Munro is the 2nd most famous Canadian Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 99 different languages.

Alice Ann Munro (, née Laidlaw ; born 10 July 1931) is a Canadian short story writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013. Munro's work has been described as revolutionizing the architecture of short stories, especially in its tendency to move forward and backward in time. Her stories have been said to "embed more than announce, reveal more than parade."Munro's fiction is most often set in her native Huron County in southwestern Ontario. Her stories explore human complexities in an uncomplicated prose style. Munro's writing has established her as "one of our greatest contemporary writers of fiction", or, as Cynthia Ozick put it, "our Chekhov." Munro has received many literary accolades, including the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature for her work as "master of the contemporary short story", and the 2009 Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work. She is also a three-time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction, and received the Writers' Trust of Canada's 1996 Marian Engel Award and the 2004 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize for Runaway.

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3. Margaret Atwood (1939 - )

With an HPI of 76.32, Margaret Atwood is the 3rd most famous Canadian Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 68 different languages.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, teacher, environmental activist, and inventor. Since 1961, she has published 18 books of poetry, 18 novels, 11 books of non-fiction, nine collections of short fiction, eight children's books, and two graphic novels, as well as a number of small press editions of both poetry and fiction. Atwood has won numerous awards and honors for her writing, including two Booker Prizes, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Governor General's Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, Princess of Asturias Awards, and the National Book Critics and PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Awards. A number of her works have been adapted for film and television. Atwood's works encompass a variety of themes including gender and identity, religion and myth, the power of language, climate change, and "power politics". Many of her poems are inspired by myths and fairy tales which interested her from a very early age.Atwood is a founder of the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Writers' Trust of Canada. She is also a Senior Fellow of Massey College, Toronto. Atwood is also the inventor of the LongPen device and associated technologies that facilitate remote robotic writing of documents.

Photo of Saul Bellow

4. Saul Bellow (1915 - 2005)

With an HPI of 74.57, Saul Bellow is the 4th most famous Canadian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 90 different languages.

Saul Bellow (born Solomon Bellows; 10 June 1915 – 5 April 2005) was a Canadian-American writer. For his literary work, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts. He is the only writer to win the National Book Award for Fiction three times and he received the National Book Foundation's lifetime Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 1990.In the words of the Swedish Nobel Committee, his writing exhibited "the mixture of rich picaresque novel and subtle analysis of our culture, of entertaining adventure, drastic and tragic episodes in quick succession interspersed with philosophic conversation, all developed by a commentator with a witty tongue and penetrating insight into the outer and inner complications that drive us to act, or prevent us from acting, and that can be called the dilemma of our age." His best-known works include The Adventures of Augie March, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog, Mr. Sammler's Planet, Seize the Day, Humboldt's Gift and Ravelstein. Bellow was regarded as an important author of 20th century American literature.Bellow said that of all his characters, Eugene Henderson, of Henderson the Rain King, was the one most like himself. Bellow grew up as an immigrant from Quebec. As Christopher Hitchens describes it, Bellow's fiction and principal characters reflect his own yearning for transcendence, a battle "to overcome not just ghetto conditions but also ghetto psychoses." Bellow's protagonists, in one shape or another, all wrestle with what Albert Corde, the dean in The Dean's December, called "the big-scale insanities of the 20th century." This transcendence of the "unutterably dismal" (a phrase from Dangling Man) is achieved, if it can be achieved at all, through a "ferocious assimilation of learning" (Hitchens) and an emphasis on nobility.

Photo of A. E. van Vogt

5. A. E. van Vogt (1912 - 2000)

With an HPI of 68.42, A. E. van Vogt is the 5th most famous Canadian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Alfred Elton van Vogt (; April 26, 1912 – January 26, 2000) was a Canadian-born science fiction author. His fragmented, bizarre narrative style influenced later science fiction writers, notably Philip K. Dick. He was one of the most popular and influential practitioners of science fiction in the mid-twentieth century, the genre's so-called Golden Age, and one of the most complex. The Science Fiction Writers of America named him their 14th Grand Master in 1995 (presented 1996).

Photo of Brian Tracy

6. Brian Tracy (1944 - )

With an HPI of 66.37, Brian Tracy is the 6th most famous Canadian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Brian Tracy (born January 5, 1944) is a Canadian-American motivational public speaker and self-development author. He is the author of over eighty books that have been translated into dozens of languages. His popular books are Earn What You're Really Worth, Eat That Frog!, No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline and The Psychology of Achievement.

Photo of David Morrell

7. David Morrell (1943 - )

With an HPI of 65.13, David Morrell is the 7th most famous Canadian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

David Morrell (born April 24, 1943) is a Canadian-American novelist, best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, later adapted as the 1982 film of the same name, which went on to spawn the successful Rambo franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. He has written 28 novels, and his work has been translated into 30 languages. He also wrote the 2007–2008 Captain America comic book miniseries The Chosen.

Photo of Shulamith Firestone

8. Shulamith Firestone (1945 - 2012)

With an HPI of 64.75, Shulamith Firestone is the 8th most famous Canadian Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Shulamith "Shulie" Firestone (January 7, 1945 – August 28, 2012) was a Canadian-American radical feminist, writer and activist. Firestone was a central figure in the early development of radical feminism and second-wave feminism and a founding member of three radical-feminist groups: New York Radical Women, Redstockings, and New York Radical Feminists. Within these radical movements, Firestone became known as "the firebrand" and "the fireball" for the fervor and passion she expressed towards the cause. Firestone participated in activism such as speaking out at The National Conference for New Politics in Chicago. Also while a member of various feminist groups she participated in actions including picketing a Miss America Contest, organizing a funeral for womanhood known as "The Burial of Traditional Womanhood", protesting sexual harassment at Madison Square Garden, organizing abortion speak outs, and disrupting abortion legislation meetings.In 1970, Firestone authored The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution. Published in September of that year, the book became an influential feminist text. The Dialectic of Sex and the ideas presented within it became important in both cyberfeminism and xenofeminism, as her ideas were a precursor for other subjects regarding technology and gender. In her writing career Firestone also helped write and edit a magazine called Notes. Her final written text was Airless Spaces written in 1998, which consisted of short stories all relating to her experience with mental illness and schizophrenia.A documentary called Shulie was created depicting Firestone during her time as a student, and it outlined her journey to becoming a feminist figure and important author. The original documentary featuring Firestone was never released, but a recreation of it was. Firestone struggled with schizophrenia after her retirement from activism and suffered from the illness until her death in 2012.

Photo of David Shore

9. David Shore (1959 - )

With an HPI of 62.72, David Shore is the 9th most famous Canadian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

David Shore (born July 3, 1959) is a Canadian television writer. Shore worked on Family Law, NYPD Blue and Due South, also producing many episodes of the latter. He created the critically acclaimed series House and more recently, Battle Creek, Sneaky Pete and The Good Doctor.

Photo of Naomi Klein

10. Naomi Klein (1970 - )

With an HPI of 62.57, Naomi Klein is the 10th most famous Canadian Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 41 different languages.

Naomi A. Klein (born May 8, 1970) is a Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker known for her political analyses, support of ecofeminism and criticism of corporate globalization, of fascism and of capitalism. On a three-year appointment from September 2018, she is the Gloria Steinem Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University.Klein first became known internationally for her alter-globalization book No Logo (1999). The Take (2004), a documentary film about Argentina's occupied factories, written by her and directed by her husband Avi Lewis, further increased her profile, while The Shock Doctrine (2007), a critical analysis of the history of neoliberal economics, solidified her standing as a prominent activist on the international stage. The Shock Doctrine was adapted into a six-minute companion film by Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón, as well as a feature-length documentary by Michael Winterbottom. Klein's This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (2014) was a New York Times non-fiction bestseller and the winner of the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.In 2016, Klein was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize for her activism on climate justice. Klein frequently appears on global and national lists of top influential thinkers, including the 2014 Thought Leaders ranking compiled by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, Prospect magazine's world thinkers 2014 poll, and Maclean's 2014 Power List. She used to be a member of the board of directors of the climate activist group 350.org.

Pantheon has 39 people classified as writers born between 1848 and 1985. Of these 39, 21 (53.85%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living writers include Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, and Brian Tracy. The most famous deceased writers include Lucy Maud Montgomery, Saul Bellow, and A. E. van Vogt. As of October 2020, 6 new writers have been added to Pantheon including Anne Carson, Marie-Claire Blais, and E. Pauline Johnson.

Living Writers

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Deceased Writers

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Newly Added Writers (2020)

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Which Writers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 18 most globally memorable Writers since 1700.