Kanata book cover


(2009, Penguin)

Following the lives of Thompson's illegitimate son and his descendants, Kanata takes readers on a fictionalized, multi-generational journey through millennia and across a continent to examine the stories, myths, and legends of those who formed the country and who were formed by it.Kanata was inspired by the life of David Thompson, a Welshman who came to the New World at the age of fifteen, and went on to become its greatest cartographer. He walked or paddled 80,000 miles and mapped 1.9 million square miles, cataloguing flora and fauna as well as the language and customs of the Natives. But though he has been described as the greatest land geographer who ever lived, he died impoverished and unknown.

Praise for Kanata

“Don Gillmor dares to write nothing less than the history of the nation in novel form. Gillmor’s style — direct, wry and dramatically astute — might reasonably be described as Pierre Berton by way of Don DeLillo and HBO.”

—Toronto Star

“Don Gillmor may well have written ‘The Great Canadian Novel’ here. He has shown Canadians their country as never before seen or imagined. Brilliantly written, Kanata is a breathtaking achievement.”

—Roy MacGregor

“Unforgettable [and] stunning. Gillmor has such a firm grip on his factual material and the story he’s created to link those facts together.”

—Edmonton Journal

“With the bravura of E.L. Doctorow and the elemental force of Cormac McCarthy, Kanata captures the heartbeat of a continent, in a language as visceral and raw as the landscape and lives it chronicles. This is history made flesh, unerring in its portrait of how we make history and are made by it.”

—Nino Ricci, author of The Origin of Species