I remember the Guardian did a bit on this idea in Britain quite a while ago.
Here in Canada the subject comes up from time to time, though I don't believe with the intensity it does State-side. And, if my memory is working, the question centres more on what makes a novel Canadian, versus identifying a single novel as THE great Canadian novel. There are regional discussions here too, given how varied the landscapes and populations. Canada, historically, has emphasized the 'mosaic' over the 'melting pot', so I wonder if that makes our conversations on the idea of a great Canadian novel different?
I do get curious about other countries too, and wonder if these debates cary on globally too!