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Book Reviews in November 1990 Issue

Book Review
F.Mauvedesert
by Elizabeth Anthony
NICOLE BROSSARD has structured her ninth novel, Mauve Desert (Coach House, 176 pages, $14.95 paper), translated by Susanne de Lotbiniere-Harwood, as a triptych that folds in on itself In an intricate tale of place, quest, seduction, mystery, and murder, she has "let seep out like an unobstructed story, a part of her self, the undivided part.
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Kiss The Boys Goodbye
by Monika Jensen-Stevenson And William Stevenson

Mcclelland & Stewart
49 pages $27.95
ISBN: 0771083262
Book Review
Misfortunes Of War
by Michael Coren
NOTHING EXPUNGES CREDIBILITY from a good cause like a bad movie. Chuck Norris, Sly Stallone, and their risible but muscular friends insist on making low-budget, high-violence films about MlAs, the acronym applied to those American fighting men who participated in the Vietnam War, and are listed as "missing in action:` presumed dead. The generic hero of these productions believes that a plethora of MlAs are still surreptitiously incarcerated in Vietnamese prison camps, under verminous conditions.
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Broadsides: Reviews And Opinions
by Mordecai Richler

Viking Canada
254 pages $24.95
ISBN: 0670833061
Book Review
Nothing Starting
by John Mills
MORDECAI RICHLER is a good, professional, lower-upper-mid-cult novelist, which means that over a long period of time he has produced a series of rich and entertaining works of fiction. It also means that while he is not Proust or even Hemingway on the one hand, he is not Robert Ludlum or Stephen King on the other. As a middlebrow, he is neither an intellectual nor a literary theorist, and there is no reason why he should be.
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Book Review
N.F.Orcasofthegulf
by Lawrence Jackson
THE AVERAGE KILLER WHALE, or orca, needs 400 pounds of flesh a day. The techniques of obtaining it are not pretty. In Orcas of the Gulf (Douglas & McIntyre, 199 pages, $12.95 paper) Gerard Gormley doesn`t let his readers avert their eyes. In his description of an attack on a minke whale, orcas peel off a continuous strip of skin and blubber the way we peel a mandarin orange.
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Book Review
F.Murderinagoodcause
by Richard Perry
SOMEONE SLIPPED poison into Clara von Hohenkammer`s herb tea. All the possible suspects, each with a credible motive for homicide, were in the dining room of the rich, aging German actress`s Rosedale mansion when the fatal sip sent her crashing to the floor, and all must endure the dogged interrogation of Inspector John Sanders of the Toronto police, who is abetted by his somewhat disaffected lady friend, Harriet Jeffries. Woven into Murder in a Good Cause (Viking, 247 pages, $22.
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Words With Power: Being A Second Study Of `The Bible And Literature`
by Northrop Frye

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (Viking)
320 pages $29.95
ISBN: 0070831212
Book Review
The Canons Of The Authentic
by Richard Paul Knowles
Northrop Frye`s Words with Power is a monumental addition to one of literary criticism`s most impressive edifices THIS BOOK WOULD SEEM to he the final chapter in the great book that Northrop Frye has been writing for the past 50 years. Its central predecessors have been Fearful Symmetry (1947), The Anatomy of Criticism (1957), and The Great Code (1983, Fryes study of "the Bible and literature" of which Words with Power is the continuation).
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Final Payoff: The True Price Of Convicting Clifford Robert Olson
by Ian Mulgrew

Seal Books
264 pages $24.95
ISBN: 0770423701
Judgement At Stoney Creek
by Bridget Moran

Arsenal Pulp Press
196 pages $12.95
ISBN: 0889782229
Book Review
Scales Of Justice
by David Wilson
OVER THE PAST 20 years, Canada`s criminal justice system has come under attack on many fronts. Highly publicized inquiries into RCMP misdeeds in Quebec and the wrongful imprisonment of the Micmac Indian Donald Marshall in Nova Scotia have captured the public`s attention, and have forced many Canadians to question their long-standing assumption that police forces and judges deserve unquestioning loyalty and support.
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Other Solitudes Multicultural Fiction & Interviews
by Linda Hutcheon, Marion Richardson,

352 pages TC
ISBN: 0195407563
Canadian-Jewish Short Stories
by Miriam Waddington,

256 pages TP
ISBN: 0195408136
All My Relations
by King,

McClelland & Stewart/Tundra Books
pages PT
ISBN: 0771067062
Book Review
Other Relations
by W.H. New
Multiculturalism may be social and political gospel, but it doesn`t necessarily result in first-class literary anthologies TOGETHER, THESE THREE anthologies collect short stories, oral tales, excerpts from novels and plays, biographical notes, interviews, and a copy of Bill C-93, an act "for the preservation and enhancement of multiculturalism in Canada" If nothing else, they demonstrate that generalizations about the connection between literary form and multiculturalism do not mean very much
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Book Review
Gift Books The New Breed
by John Oughton
This season`s glamour titles aim to do good as well as look good GIFT BOOKS ARE A LUXURY that frequently offers a refuge from reality. They highlight beauty in the arts, civilization, and nature, while discreetly ignoring political and ecological bad news. One example: Roloff Beny`s book showcasing the crown jewels of lran`s Pahlavi dynasty, released not long before the Ayatollah Khomeini took power. However, conscience is the trend for gift books of the `90s.
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Book Review
N.F.Returningwordstoflesh
by Elizabeth Anthony
IN A DOZEN fluid essays of informal argument in Returning Words to Flesh: Feminism, Psychoanalysis, and the Resurrection of the Body (Oxford University Press, 255 pages, $28.50 cloth), Naomi Goldenberg, a professor of the psychology of religion and coordinator of women`s studies at the University of Ottawa, gives us an engaging critique of our "backwards" culture. Calling on gospel truth, she turns St.
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Book Review
F.Themanydeathofgeorgerobertson
by Rachel Rafelman
GEORGE LITTLE, a schoolteacher and the former leader of New Brunswick`s NDP, has published his first collection of short stories, The Many Deaths of George Robertson (Goose Lane, 137 pages, $12.95 paper). His writing competent and humorous but vaguely didactic - reflects both his professional pursuits. As avowed lessons in human experience, these stories are both sentimental and "socially conscious.
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Book Review
F.Tellingthebees
by David Kosub
IT`S NOT UNUSUAL for writers of fiction to become more enamoured of landscapes and the objects surrounding their characters than the characters themselves. Some of Roger Burford Mason`s best writing in Telling the Bees (Hounslow, 160 pages, $14.95 paper) is precisely of this sort: thunderstorms and exotic foreign marketplaces, fine furniture and Meissen china, a printer`s sample book, old theatre programs, and the bindings of first edition "classics.
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Book Review
F.Amongtheshadows
by Laurel Boone
Lucy MAUD MONTGOMERY lived in penury -- actual or impending -- until she got free of L. C. Page, her avaricious American publisher, in 1919 and began to reap the benefits of Anne of Green Cables. Six of the 19 stories collected by Rea Wilmshurst in Among the Shadows: Tales from the Darker Side (McClelland & Stewart, 310 pages, $24.95 cloth) were first published in 1921 or later, and they are the only ones with any degree of plot complexity, characterization, and emotional or ethical ambiguity
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Book Review
N.F.Ahistoryofworldwhaling
by Lawrence Jackson
IN THE SEASON of 1937 and 1938, the world whaling industry killed almost 55,000 whales. Most of their oil went into margarine, their meat into pet food. It was an orgy of killing that far surpassed any previous record, and it followed a decade of negotiations on how to limit the hunt. But these were token and cynical efforts: negotiators set minimum lengths large enough so that immature whales could still be taken, and banned whaling except in the places where most of it took place.
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Book Review
F.Safeathome
by Richard Perry
ALISON GORDON`S second crime novel, Safe at Home (McClelland & Stewart, 239 pages, $24.95 cloth), is a very sloppy bit of base-running. Gordon misses the bag rounding first: the "mystery" -- who is murdering young boys on the streets of Toronto? -- becomes immediately transparent, since no other suspects are provided to shift suspicion away from the obvious culprit.
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Book Review
F.Thebeekeeper
by Christopher Noxon
ABOUT THREE-QUARTERS of the way into The Beekeeper (DC Books, 173 pages, $24.95 cloth, $14.95 paper), Keith Henderson`s second novel turns mean. The bulk of the book offers amusing character sketches of some eccentric `60s intellectuals as they lounge in the Ontario countryside. Then, suddenly -- strangely -- characters who trade witticisms over chess and tea begin throwing chairs and vomiting bile. It`s nervy storytelling, but ultimately it rings false.
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Agnes in the Sky
by Di Brandt,

pages TP
ISBN: 0888011504
Book Review
The Healed Heart
by Rhea Tregebov
Di BRANDT IS A POET both engaging and engaged. Agnes in the sky, her second book, continues Brandt`s project of examining her Mennonite background with formidable courage and honesty. In this book she takes on the abuse she herself encountered as a child and that of other women, and attempts to work through the loss and pain to under standing -- and even to some newly defined form of love.
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Book Review
Visible Canadians
by W.D. Valgardson
ELEVEN CANADIAN WRITERS jammed onto the stage in Oslo, Norway, all asked to describe where Canadian literature is going in the `90s. Rudy Wiebe starts off with an attack on white writers who write from an Indian point of view. Aritha van Herk picks up the attack and tells the audience that an Indian writer she knows has an anti-Kinsella poem.
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Book Review
N.F.Unhommegrand
by David Homel
BETWEEN 1840 and 1930, 900,000 people left Quebec for the milltowns of New England. Among them were Jack Kerouac`s grandparents. Toasted as "the King of the Beats" by some, reviled for his right-wing, homophobic, Catholic ways by others, Kerouac was at home nowhere. Quebec has always had an uneasy relationship with him. Since he wrote in English, he was never accepted into the Quebec literary elite
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Long Ride On A Hobby Horse (Memoirs Of A Sporting Life)
by Jim Coleman

Key Porter
278 pages $26.95
ISBN: 1550131719
Book Review
Sports Of All Sorts
by George Kaufman
By George Kaufman &&&LONG RIDE ON A HOBBY HORSE (MEMOIRS OF A SPORTING LIFE) by Jim Coleman, Key Porter, 278 pages, $26.95 cloth, (ISBN 1 55013 1719 5) OLD PORTSWRITERS never die, they just keep on writing stories. This fall, two of Canada`s best-known storytellers for the lock set have written books that are interesting on several Counts. Most significantly, they serve as a valuable narrative history of Canadian sports.
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The Great Depression: 1929-1939
by Pierre Berton

Mcclelland & Stewart
560 pages $29.95
ISBN: 0771012705
Book Review
Defining A Decade
by Heather Robertson
THERE IS SOMETHING almost monastic about Pierre Berton`s determination to chronicle Canada`s popular history before it disappears into the collective amnesia of a dying nation. There he sits, the Venerable Bede of Kleinburg, Ontario, furiously getting it all down in the hope that when the Dark Ages have passed once more, someone will come across his seminal writings and learn what life was like in this part of the world.
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Emotional Arithmetic
by Matt Cohen

Lester & Orpen Dennys
256 pages $24.95
ISBN: 0886193621
Book Review
Sums Of Love
by Keith Garebian
THERE ARE GENERAL LINKS between this novel and Matt Cohen`s earlier ones -- madness, a constant interpenetration of past and present, inversions of customary romance, and a character who, as it turns out, was the eponymous heroine of Nadine (1986) and here acts as an ironic catalyst in the background. But Emotional Arithmetic is quite unlike any of his earlier fictions.
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Book Review
P.Headstand
by Barbara Carey
THE COVER OF Carol Malyon`s first collection of poetry, Headstand (Wolsak & Wynn, 91 pages, $9.00 paper), features a map of the world turned upside down, land masses a cerulean blue afloat in oceans of scarlet. Many of the poems, too, give a fresh tilt to such familiar territory as the anxieties of aging and the ambiguities of memory and its role in how we see ourselves ("Memory: making up our own history / as we go along")
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Book Review
P.Stillclosetotheraven
by Barbara Carey
THE OPENING POEM of Rienzi Crusz`s Still Close to the Raven (TSAR Publications, 75 pages, $7.95 paper) suggests that he`ll offer "the heart raw and public"; and certainly, much of this collection involves the poet`s soul-searching. But the poems here are far from raw -- Crusz`s language is subtle and he makes his points obliquely. Moreover, his self-examination always includes the social context of an immigrant`s struggle for a sense of identity.
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Irving Layton & Robert Creeley The Complete Correspondence, 1953-1978
by Irving Layton, Robert Creeley, Ekbert Faas, Sabrina Reed,

288 pages TC
ISBN: 0773506578
Book Review
Dead Letters
by David Donnell
THIS IS QUITE a handsomely produced book, as it should he for $32.95. It`s meticulously edited, there`s an introduction of some length, a substantial notes section possibly prepared by a willing graduate student -- and an exhaustive index.
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Indian Country
by Larry Krotz,

pages TC
ISBN: 0771045476
Book Review
Homes And Native Lands
by Jennifer S. H. Brown
When the Meech Lake accord comes to its three-year anniversary in the summer of 1990, we will have either the beginning of a native people`s agenda, or else you`re going to have a situation where the pressure on the government to do something dramatic is going to be so strong that they are not going to be able to keep the lid on. George Erasmus, Assembly of First Nations to Larry Krotz, April 1989 LARRY KROTZ has written a timely book.
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Outsider The Life of Pierre E. Trudeau
by Vastel, Bauch,

pages TC
ISBN: 0771591004
Book Review
A Less Than Full Life
by I. M. Owen
THIS IS THE BOOK that was a best seller in Quebec last fall under the title Trudeau le Quebecois. The English title, The Outsider, seems to say the exact opposite, but it expresses directly the basic theme of the book, which the French title expresses sardonically: Michel Vastel interprets Trudeau`s career as a lifelong Oedipal struggle against his Quebec heritage. The subtitle of the English edition, The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, is simply false labelling.
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Mutual Hostages Canadian & Japanese During the Second World War
by Patricia E. Roy, J. L. Granatstein, Masako Iino, Hiroko Takamura,

320 pages TC
ISBN: 0802057748
Book Review
Uneasy Settlements
by Frank Moritsugu
THIS IS Tiff FIRST major work on the Japanese-Canadian wartime experience not written by a member of the community since Forrest La Violette`s 1948 sociological study The Japanese Canadians and World War 11. What might have resulted was a fresh, insight-filled scrutiny of the Japanese-Canadian experience during the 1940s. Instead, the book is a disappointing muddle, still searching for some kind of raison d`etre.
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The Ales Of An Athletic Supporter
by Trent Frayne

Mcclelland & Stewart
312 pages $27.95
ISBN: 0771032099
Book Review
Sports Of All Sorts
by George Kaufman
OLD PORTSWRITERS never die, they just keep on writing stories. This fall, two of Canada`s best-known storytellers for the lock set have written books that are interesting on several Counts. Most significantly, they serve as a valuable narrative history of Canadian sports. More like crazy-quilt collections of stories than books in the conventional sense, these two volumes contain enough fascinating anecdotes and colourful characters to keep any sports fan busy through the A inter months
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Margaret Atwood: Conversations
by Earl G. Ingersoll

Firefly
276 pages $18.95
ISBN: 0920608801
Book Review
A Hoot To Read
by Brian Fawcett
I`VE NEVER HAI) strong feelings -- either pro or con -- about Margaret Atwood`s novels. But my respect for her as a public figure, and as a model of how a writer ought to act in the face of self important academics, media morons, and the ignorant and aggressive has been growing ever since the night in 1970 when I made a smart-alec remark to her and had my head taken off at the neck by her razor-sharp rejoinder. The experience left me chastened enough to he unwilling to go back for more.
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Interviews
Making Crime Pay
by Pat Barclay
WHEN WILLIAM DEVERELL WON Seal Books` $50,000 first novel award in 1979 for Needles, his hard-hitting thriller about the heroin trade in Vancouver, the experience changed his life. Born in Regina and raised there and in Saskatoon, where his father was a newspaper writer and editor, Deverell worked his way through law school at the University of Saskatchewan as a night reporter, graduating in 1963. He then moved to Vancouver to establish his law practice.
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Opinion
Colonial Mentalities
by Bruce Serafin
HERE ARE Two quotations. I would like the reader to look at them as much for their vocabulary and syntax as for their content: Whereby we see that in the total system of the image the structural functions are polarized; on the one hand there is a sort of paradigmatic condensation on the level of connotators (i.e
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First Novels
Beauty And The Beast
by Gary Draper
THE WORD "powerful" is much beloved of -- and overused by the writers of dust-jackets. But every once in a while it fits. Scot Morison`s Noble Sanctuary (Doubleday, 273 pages, $22.95 cloth) is a powerful novel. Set mostly in Beirut, Lebanon, during the troubled summer of 1982, it tells of Geoff Andrews`s search for Nadya Karameh, the beautiful Palestinian woman with whom he has fallen deeply in love.
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Field Notes
Not Picture-Perfect
by Ron Burnett
IN THIS SUMMER of discontent in Quebec with the Mohawk crisis and Meech Lake foregrounding a whole variety of political and cultural conflicts, the premiere of Bethune: The Making of a Hero at the World Film Festival in Montreal seemed to offer an occasion to celebrate. Unfortunately, the film could neither overcome nor deflect the seriousness of the battles of the last four months. The atmosphere in Montreal has been heavy with argument and anger.
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Children's Books
Look It Up!
by Sandra Martin
FOR THE PAST month or so my family has been consumer-testing the junior Encyclopedia of Canada (Hurtig, five volumes, 2,0 pages, $59.95) until December 25, 1990, $189.95 plus GST after), edited by James Marsh. Whenever a question is raised, somebody inevitably responds with "Look it up." The result has been a great levelling of preconceived notions and assumed general knowledge. "Just what kind of a flower is the fleur de lis anyway?" somebody asked the other day.
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Great Authors
Being A Wage Slave
by Al Purdy
I had suddenly realized that my writings were... certainly not immortal literature ... I thought I should be capable of doing better WHAT HAPPENS in your brain when the personality changes? What causes the change to happen? Can you pinpoint the moment in time when all this took place? I mean go back in time and examine yourself in the mirror-memory? -- the time and place and you, all swaying like seaweed in dim green underwater light...
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