Canadian Writers in Person series organizers offer best reads for 2022

Typewriter typing "something worth reading"

York University Humanities Professors Leslie Saunders and Gail Vanstone, together with Dana Patrascu-Kingsley, a contract faculty member in the Department of English, offer their list for the best books to read over the holiday break and beyond.

When YFile contacted the three organizers behind York University’s acclaimed Canadian Writers in Person (CWIP) series about their picks for the best books of 2022, the intrepid trio rose to the challenge.

CWIP is a course offered in the Culture & Expression program in the Department of Humanities in York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. Click here for more information on the series, or email Vanstone at or Saunders at The series resumes on Jan. 18, 2023 with author Iain Reid’s critically acclaimed book We Spread (Gallery/Scout Press, 2022).

“Our picks for this year include a host of new voices in Canadian literature along with stories and poetry from seasoned voices beckoning us to read them again,” says Vanstone.

Without further ado, here is their list:

Thompson Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen
Billy-Ray Belcourt, A Minor Chorus
Souvankham Thammavongsa, How to Pronounce Knife
Megan Gail Coles, Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club
Ava Homa, Daughters of Smoke and Fire 
Zalika Reid-Benta, Frying Plantain
Phoebe Wang, Admission Requirements 
Laurie D. Graham, Settler Education
Heather O’Neill, When We Lost Our Heads
Suzette Mayr, The Sleeping Car Porter
Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia, The Son of the House
Richard Van Camp, Moccasin Square Gardens
Jesse Thistle, Scars & Stars
Katherena Vermette, North End Love Songs and The Strangers
Thomas King, Truth and Bright Water
Madeleine Thien, Do Not Say We Have Nothing
Chantal Gibson, How She Read
Miriam Toews, Women Talking

Plus, the trio recommends three new writers on Chinese diaspora. These authors are: Jack Wang, We Two Alone; Pik-Shuen Fung Ghost Forest; and Sheung King, You Are Eating an Orange, You Are Naked.

And finally, Saunders has a special recommendation to add to the list, a personal favourite, for “anything by Louise Penny, particularly Three Pines.