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CanLit150

Celebrate more than 150 years of Canada with 150 books.

Trilby Kent Recommends

The Torontonians by Phyllis Brett Young

The Torontonians (1960)

(From the McGill-Queen's University Press)

The arrival, one sunny morning, of pale green wall-to-wall carpeting for the living room is the crowning jewel in Karen Whitney's long-anticipated transformation of her house into a beautiful home, renovated to the exacting standards of her own impeccable taste. The banal finality of this event triggers an introspective voyage through the events of her life and how she became who she is: wife of business executive Rick, citizen of the suburb of Rowanwood, mother to two accomplished daughters in university. Before Betty Friedan coined the term feminine mystique, The Torontonians told a classic feminist story of suburban ennui and existential self-discovery, tracing a detailed portrait of femininity in the 1950s through the eyes of its perceptive and thoughtful heroine. The book is also a unique contemporary meditation on community and social ties from a time when Canada's major cities were just beginning to spread out into suburban sprawl.

Phyllis Brett Young

(From the McGill-Queen's University Press)

Phyllis Brett Young (1914 - 1996) is the author of six works of fiction. Her novels, including Psyche, The Torontonians, Undine and A Question of Judgement have appeared in numerous editions and languages in Canada, the United States, and Europe.