Canadian Writers in Person organizers share 2023 holiday reading list

young woman reads a book

Organizers of York University’s acclaimed Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series – humanities Professor Gail Vanstone and Department of English contract faculty member Dana Patrascu-Kingsley – offer their 2023 list of best books to read over the holiday break and beyond.

Vanstone and Patrascu-Kingsley organize the annual series that brings new and established Canadian authors to the York community (either in person or via Zoom) to deliver readings from their books. Canadian Writers in Person is a for-credit course offered in the Culture & Expression program in the Department of Humanities in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, but the associated lecture series is free and open to members of the York community and the public who are not enrolled in the course. The series continues Jan. 16, 2024 with a reading from David Huebert’s latest novel, Chemical Valley (Atlantic Books, 2021).

“When Dana and I put our heads together, we thought a good theme for this year might be ‘books that will expand your world,’ since poetry and fiction give us an opportunity to see, understand and feel the world from different perspectives,” said Vanstone. “In our list, we want to acknowledge the importance of voice and representation in each work for helping us think beyond ourselves.”

Here are their suggestions of recent Canadian books that will help “expand your world”:

And a special recommendation from York Professor Leslie Sanders, who is currently on sabbatical but is still associated with the Canadian Writers in Person course, is Drawing Down a Daughter by Claire Harris (in light of Goose Lane Editions’ recently announced Claire Harris Poetry Prize).

For more information about the lecture series, visit the event web page or email Vanstone at