The actual Canadian content of Patrick deWitt's The Sisters Brothers is essentially zero. The author was born in Canada but had moved to the US before he wrote his first novel. The Sisters Brothers was a follow-up novel that caught fire, as they say. After this, he briefly moved with his family to France, which inspired him to write his third novel, Undermajordomo Minor.
The setting of The Sisters Brothers is the American West, starting in
the Oregon Territory and then travelling with the Sisters Brothers to
San Francisco, which is in the grips of gold fever. (We don't even get
the hint that the same kind of gold rush will hit the Yukon at some
point.) There's nothing wrong with this of course, but it is an
extremely nebulous link to Can Lit.
I have to say I don't really understand all the fuss about this novel.
It is basically someone steeped in high-brow fiction slumming it in the
Western genre. It might be one thing for the narrator, Eli Sisters, to
think and talk in such high-falutin language, but pretty much everyone
does throughout the novel with only one or two exceptions. It kind of
grated on me and gradually I lost interest in this novel. I think the
one part that was droll was when Eli was trying to lose weight and was
cutting back on his meal portions until his brother, Charlie, convinced
him that the woman he was slimming down for was not worth the effort.
After this, Eli stuffs himself with biscuits and pork. I know there are
a lot of fans of this novel, but I just didn't feel very invested in
the characters or the plot.