Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Unknown Country : Canada and Her People

The Unknown Country : Canada and Her People by Bruce Hutchison is a good, but unexceptional narrative of a his trip across Canada. In each chapter, Hutchison presents a small amount of local colour and a brief history of the location. It was one of two Governor-General's Award winners for non fiction in 1942.

The book is well done, and Hutchison provides some nice local snapshots, but overall, it's more of a compendium than a unified work. Plus, Hutchison depends a lot on his own impressions and perceptions rather than trying to weave together a variety of perspectives. As such, it's closer to a travelogue.

It's hard to see why The Unknown Country was so well-regarded as to merit the Governor-General's Award. It's a decent book, but nothing extraordinary.

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