The first collection of critical essays devoted to the study of English-Canadian literary anthologies brings together the work of thirteen prominent critics to investigate anthology formation in Canada and answer these key questions: Why are there so many literary anthologies in Canada, and how can we trace their history? What role have anthologies played in the formation of Canadian literary taste? How have anthologies influenced the training of students from generation to generation? What literary values do the editors of various anthologies tend to support, and how do these values affect canon formation in Canada? How have different genres fared in the creation of literary anthologies? How do Canadian anthologies transmit ideas about gender, region, ideology, and nation?
Specific essays focus on anthologies as national metaphors, the controversies surrounding early literary collections, representations of First Nations peoples in anthologies, and the ways in which various editors have understood exploration narratives. In addition, the collection examines the representation of women in Canadian anthologies, the use of anthologies as teaching tools, and the creation of some very odd Canadian anthologies along the way.