Hockey occupies a prominent place in the Canadian cultural lexicon, as evidenced by the wealth of hockey-centred stories and novels published within Canada. In this exciting new work, Jason Blake takes readers on a thematic journey through Canadian hockey literature, examining five common themes - nationhood, the hockey dream, violence, national identity, and family - as they appear in hockey fiction. Blake examines the work of such authors as Mordecai Richler, David Adams Richards, Paul Quarrington, and Richard B. Wright, arguing that a study of contemporary hockey fiction exposes a troubled relationship with the national sport. Rather than the storybook happy ending common in sports literature of previous generations, Blake finds that today's fiction portrays hockey as an often-glorified sport that in fact leads to broken lives and ironic outlooks. The first book to focus exclusively on hockey in print, Canadian Hockey Literature is an accessible work that challenges popular perceptions of a much-beloved national pastime.
Jason Blake is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Ljubljana.