Book Reviews in April 1994 Issue

Book Review
by Paul Stuewe
GIVEN THE VIGOUR andvariety of the area it surveys, , edited by Irena R. Makaryk Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literary Theory:Approaches, Scholars, Terms (University of Toronto, 656 pages, $39.95 paper), very sensibly abjures completeness andaims only to "suggest something of the immense scope of currenttheoretical approaches." This its 170 contributors certainly do, and inthe process clarify many a problematic concept while occasionally running afoulof some roughish intellectual weather.
Out of the Luterior: The Lost Country
by Harold Rhenisch

208 pages $12.95 paper
ISBN: 092187023X
Book Review
by Virginia Beaton
GROWING UP on a farm is not always the pastoral experience we see on "Road to Avonlea." Sometimesit`s more like combat against the forces of nature, which is the impressionleft by Harold Rhenisch`s Out of theInterior (Cacanadadada, 208 pages, $12.95 paper). This book is a form ofautobiography; partly a memoir of growing up in the Similkameen Valley inBritish Columbia, and partly a chronicle of agricultural life.
Book Review
by Jeniva Berger
IN Solo (CoachHouse, 304 pages, $17.95 paper), the editor Jason Sherman has selected a dozenone-act, one-character plays that illustrate how people manage ormismanage their lives as they cope with loneliness in various ways. Sherman,himself a clever playwright (The Leagueof Nathans, One in the Back, Two in the Head), recognizes that theelements of good storytelling, always important, are particularly crucial herebecause solo performers must carry the weight of an entire act on theirshoulders.
Book Review
by Phil Hall
AFTER 20 YEARS of poetry, Tom Wayman is a man who can title the introduction to Did I Miss Anything? (Harbour, 200 pages, $14.95 paper), his selected poems from 1973 to 1993, "Glad I Was Born." Incredible. This is actually Wayman`s third Selected. In 1980, the Ontario Review Press, with Introducing Tom Wayman, presented a selection of his work intended for an American audience; and in 198 1, Thistledown published The Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, which gathered the early Wayman-persona poems.
The Writers of Montreal
by Elaine Kaufman-Naves, Elaine K. Naves, Elaine Kalman Naves

192 pages $14.95 paper
ISBN: 1550650459
Book Review
by Eva Tihanyi
FOR ANYONE unfamiliar with the array of authors, both French and English, who have graced Montreal`s literary scene, the 30 short biographical essays written and collected by Elaine Kalman Naves in The Writers of Montreal (Vehicule, 192 pages, $14.95 paper) provide a quick, easy-to-read introduction. All the expected familiar names are here -- Layton, Dudek, Scott, Richler, Cohen, Klein, MacLennan, Hood, Gallant, Blais, Tremblay, Carrier, and Brossard, to list only a few.
Book Review
Corrective Actions
by Alec Mcewen
EMINENT, OR IMMINENT, DEMISE. A Calgary Herald editorial lamented the "virtual demise of Canadian Airlines International as a solvent company and the eminent demise of its chief competitor, Air Canada." While it is true that the collapse of Air Canada, should it ever occur, would he a prominent event, the writer evidently meant imminent, or about to happen.
Book Review
Coren At Large
by Michael Coren
BY THE TIME this column appears, the movie Shadowlands, about the life of thenovelist and philosopher C. S. Lewis and his relationship with the poet joyDavidman, will likely have completed its Canadian run. Anthony Hopkins and DebraWinger will probably he about to appear in other films, playing serial-killercannibals, lovesick war criminals, feminist lawyers, and butIers who either didor did not do it.
Book Review
Daniel Jones 1959-1994
by Stuart Ross
CANADA LOST a provocative, accomplishedwriter -- and the Toronto small-press community lost a friendand activist -with the death of Daniel Jones on February 13. Jones, 34, was known primarily for hisautobiographically based fiction and poetry, as well as for his work as aneditor. He was the author of seven chapbooks and two full-length works,the poetry collection The Brave NeverWrite Poetry (CoachHouse, 1985) and the novel Obsessions (Mercury, 1992).
Book Review
A Backward Clance
by Douglas Fetherling
THERE WAS a vogue in the 19th century for lawyers to write verse; one of them is supposed to have begun a poem with the word Whereas. It was also the age of the lawyer-editor. Nicholas Flood Davin, an Irishman who lived most of his life in England before coming to Canada, was all three: a poetaster, a competent lawyer (though he lost the only case he ever took after immigrating to Canada -- that of George Bennett, who was hanged for shooting George Brown of the Globe), and a journalist.
Book Review
by Elizabeth Mitchell
THE PROTAGONIST in eachof the seven short stories in Helen Pereira`s Wild Cotton (Killick, 148 pages,$11.95 paper) is a woman struggling with selfdoubt. These characters desirechange -- from the superficial to the hardcore -- andthe crux of this change is control. Pereira speaks of anolder generation of women who have carved their identities through otherpeople.
The Perfection of the Morning
by Sharon Butala,

pages TC
ISBN: 0002550636
Book Review
At Home In The Landscape
by Linda Leith
WHEN SHARON BUTALA married a rancher and moved from Saskatoon to a remote ranch in southwestern Saskatchewan, her friends and her family were convinced she was making a terrible mistake. This was in 1976. Butala was 36 years old, and she was leaving behind her independent life, her house, her job, her circle of close women friends, her mother, her sisters and their families, and her only child, the teenaged son from her first marriage who stayed in Saskatoon to finish school.
Life after God
by Douglas Coupland,

Pocket Books
pages TC
ISBN: 0671874330
Book Review
Getting On With The Mcjob
by Rita Donovan
WHEN Dou(~LAS COUPLAND appeared On the literary scene with Generation X, which the Los Angeles Times dubbed "a groundbreaking novel," the public was introduced to the point of view of a post-boomer, anti-yuppie, disaffected coniing- ()f-~ige-with-a-midlifc-crisis group of young people who skewered a shish kebab Of popular culture while somehow managing to endear themselves to the general reader. We cared for Andy, Dag, and Claire
Wedding Cakes, Rats & Rodeo Queens
by Anne Cameron,

pages TC
ISBN: 0002240017
Book Review
Take It Or Leave It
by Joan Thomas
THIS NOVEL by the West Coast author Anne Cameron starts out as a contemporary Five Little Peppers, the story of five fatherless kids scraping the mould off their bread -- only here Marmee has delirium tremens and a series of child abusers as boyfriends, the oldest daughter is known as the town bicycle, and the police have set a 24-hour watch on the youngest son.
A Touch Of Panic
by L.R. Wright

304 pages $24.95
ISBN: 0385524504
Book Review
Sunshine Sketches
by I. M. Owen
UNTIL I STARTED to read L. R. Wright`s novels about Staff Sergeant Karl Alberg of the RCMP I never knew that there was a stretch of the British Columbia shore called the Sunshine Coast -- which apparently lives LIP to its name, at least in the Summer. (One of the novels is called A Chill Rain in January, and it conveys a vivid feeling of damp.) To an Ontarian who has always thought of the whole West Coast as a sort of temperate rainforest this is a revelation.
Book Review
by John Degen
SHEILA IS adisillusioned young university graduate on a one-year teaching contractin a remote and isolated community. During her stay she must deal with theresentments and petty squabbles of the locals, and the trials of living socompletely cut off from the larger, more vital world. If Carmelita McGrath haschosen familiar territory for her short-fiction debut in Walking to Shenak (Killick, 152 pages, $11
The Cameraman
by Bill Gaston

282 pages $24.95
ISBN: 0771590245
Book Review
Sex, Lies, And Film Stock
by Jack Batten
NOTHING in Bill Gaston`s resume says anything about movies, about how often he watches them, about how much he loves them. The resume says he has lived in Toronto and Deep Cove, British Columbia, and now lives in Fredericton. He teaches English at the University of New Brunswick, and previously published one other novel (Tall Lives) and two books of short stories (Deep Cove Stories, North of Jesus` Beans).
Hey Monias!
by Stewart Dickson

149 pages $13.95 paper
ISBN: 0889782709
Book Review
by Virginia Beaton
RAPHAEL IRONSTAND, a Metis living in Nanaimo, B.C., decided towrite about his experience with residential schools after his participation ina Native healing group convinced him that writing would help restore his senseof self-worth. Written in collaborationwith Stewart Dickson, in a simple, straightforward style, Hey, Monias! (ArsenalPulp, 149 pages, $13.95 paper) is the direct transcription of notes Ironstandmade about his life on the reserve, at school, and in the white world ofManitoba.
Captivity Tales Canadians in New York
by Elizabeth Hay,

154 pages TP
ISBN: 0921586329
Book Review
Meditating In Manhattan
by George Calt
STRANDED IN New York, the Canadian Elizabeth Hay sought solace in a very personal meditation on home. The initial impulse is I inderstandable. Gotham, repository of the American dream as well as the psychotic American nightmare, does crank LIP one`s nostalgic attachment to Canada. But most Canadians in New York make a mental note of their distinguishing national characteristics and then head out to marvel at the exotic street life or take in .1 the theatres and museums.
Book Review
Arguments In Motion
by R. M.Vaughan
Fuelledby sex but ultimately structured by desire, SkyGilbert`s plays provoke gays and straights alike SKY GILBERT is pacing. And talking. It`sbeen a typical week. His film MyAddiction, thesecond instalment in a projected trilogy, has just been accepted at the prestigious San Francisco Gay andLesbian Film Festival. His recent appearance on TVOntario`s"Imprint," in which he was typecast as the hysterical gay artist, isgetting him into arguments in bars.
The Ends of the Earth
by Morris Panych

140 pages $12.95 paper
ISBN: 0889223343
Playing Bare
by Dominic Champagne

112 pages $12.95 paper
ISBN: 0889223351
Whittaker's Theatricals
by Herbert Whittaker, Marian M. Wilson (Editor)

Simon & Pierre/Dundurn
264 pages $18.99 paper
ISBN: 0889242399
Adventures for (Big) Girls: Seven Radio Plays
by A. Jansen

172 pages $16.95 paper
ISBN: 0921368321
Les Folles Alliees Present Miss Autobody: A Play
by Les Folles Alliees, Linda Gaboriau (Translator)

103 pages $10.95 paper
ISBN: 0921881258
Book Review
Theatre Books
by Michael Redhill
From Page to Stage If printed plays are pure potential, they also offer readers many plaisirs du texte THREE WEEKS AG0, as I watched Theatre Passe Muraille`s production of Daniel Maclvor`s Never Swim Alone, I found myself doubting that it was the same play I I recently read. The effect of reading the play was extremely soporific, but the production was a vital, CaIcuIIatedly artificial exploration of the play`s themes.
Crawlspace New & Selected Poems
by Monty Reid,

122 pages TP
ISBN: 0887845398
Dog Sleeps Irritated Texts
by Monty Reid,

pages PT
ISBN: 0920897355
Book Review
Flowers Underground
by Colin Morton
THE TITLE P0EM of Monty Reids Crawlspace finds the poet in a characteristic position -- looking at the world from an odd angle, discovering both the literal and the metaphoricaI depths underlying everyday life. As he crawls beneath the floor of his house to unblock frozen pipes, he becomes aware of "the rustling/ breath of an animal that Iives/ in the ground" just Linder the feet of his unsuspecting children at play.
Book Review
Military Books
by Robert M. Stamp
Tidying Up the Battlefields Althoughsome recent military history is squeaky-clean, spy stories are washing ourdirty linen in public MILITARY HISTORYcontinues to be an eclectic and uneven field. This season`s crop of titlesmixes traditional battlefield memoirs and glorious tales of courage under firewith more pedestrian accounts of peacemaking and peacekeeping.
It's a Hard Cow
by Terry Jordan,

144 pages TP
ISBN: 1895449162
Book Review
Tributes To Wonder
by Kenneth J. Harvey
TERRY JORDAN writes beautifully about loss, displacement, and the sense of helplessness that one experiences through acts of chance and of betrayal. But the stories in this collection are not sombre. Rather, they are filled with emotional tributes to wonder and human depth that inspire a breathless sense of grace in the reader. This gift of grace is a rarity. And Jordan works it seamlessly into words.
Coming Attractions 93
by Douglas Glover And Maggie

Helwig Oberon
122 pages $12.95
ISBN: 0887509290
Frictions, II Stories by Women
by Rhea Tregebov,

pages TP
ISBN: 0929005473
Book Review
Developing Characters
by Carole Giangrande
IT` SHOULD go without saying that writers of fiction assume a need to bring their characters to life and to treat them with respect as human beings, whatever their failings. More than a need, it`s a moral imperative, and in the opinion of this reader, those writers who don`t care enough about the human condition to do that kind of gut work should find another career. In their choice of writers for Coming Attractions 93, Maggie Helwig and Douglas Glover seem to know this instinctively.
Forcing The Narcissus
by Susan Musgrave

Mcclelland & Stewart
104 pages $12.99
ISBN: 0171066597
Musgrave Landing
by Susan Musgrave,

pages PT
ISBN: 0773756140
Book Review
The Business Of Hope
by Phil Hall
RHETORICAL drone may break my hones but no Envious Prig, no eunuch, no blasted jelly-boned swine of a slimy belly- wriggling sniveling, dribbling, dithering, palsied, pulseless book reviewer [is] going to hurt me." Echoing Rabelais, Robert Burns, and D. H. Lawrence, no less, Susan Musgrave, in her latest book of non-fictions, Great Musgrave (1989), has thus given fair warning of her solid armour to those with a task such as mine.
Engendering Myth
by John Ayre
Susan Swan wants to `give women images oftheir beauty, their power, their intelligence` SUSAN SWAN is a fiction writer andjournalist who currently teaches in the humanities department of YorkUniversity in Toronto.
Letters to Editor
Most Subjective CLINT BURNHAM`s review of Robert J. Sawyer`s Foreigner ("Brief Reviews," March) is the kind of review that is a disservice to reader and writer alike. He is reviewing an SF novel, yet puzzlingly states that the touchstones for "greatness" in the genre are the works of Judith Merril and Kim Stanley Robinson. Regarding the former: what works is he talking about? Can he name one novel? Ms.
Pleasure And Difficulty
by Margaret Sweatman
WAYNE OAKLEY`s Piano Keys and White Paper (Quarry, 72 pages, $12.95 paper) is a collection of compressed,tight poems, each word a breath. Here is the first of "Emily in Nine Poems": is notan apron can hide those hips come open your purple and emily danced in shortturns to catch her self off balance the front door`s not closed she blushed Others are too skinny, seem more likenotes toward a poem, their place in this collection perhaps premature
First Novels
Absolutely Luminous
The winner of the SmithBooks/Books in Canada First Novell Award isDeborah Joy Corey`s Losing Eddie DEBORAH JOY COREY`s Losing Eddie, published by AlgonquinBooks of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and distributed in Canada by Thomas Allen& Son, is the winner of the SmithBooks/Books in Canada First Novel Awardfor 1993. The novel was the first shoice of two of our judges, and a strongrunner-up for the third. "Losing Eddie came out ofdesperation," Corey explains.
November Boots
by Nancy Hundal, Marilyn Mets (Illustrator)

24 pages $16.95 cloth
ISBN: 0002238934
Why Can't You Fold Your Pants Like DavidLevine?
by Frieda Wishinsky, Snider Jackie (Illustrator), Jackie Snider (Illustrator)

62 pages $5.95 paper
ISBN: 0002239949
Annabel the Detective: The Case of theBirthday Surprise
by Dorothy J. Harris

32 pages $4.95 paper
ISBN: 0006474179
The Missing Sun
by Peter Eyvindson

48 pages $9.95 paper
ISBN: 0921827296
The Always Prayer Shawl
by Sheldon Oberman

McClelland &Stewart
32 pages $19.99 cloth
ISBN: 1878093223
Mae's Night Flight
by Fran B. Innes

Creative Publishers
32 pages $14.95 cloth
ISBN: 1895387299
Children's Books
Matters Meteorological
by Anne Denoon
ONCE UPON a time, I used toexperience a ... well, childish feeling of pleasurable anticipation on the rareoccasions when Books in Canada sawfit to send me a package of children`s books for review. Although it`s probablyhighly impolitic to admit this, I even found writing about kids` books --dare I say it? -- fun for a change.

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