TRUE LITERACY HAS more to do with the delights than the mechanics of reading:` suggests Janice Kulyk Keefer. She is one of 20 authors and poets whose reflections on literacy makeup More Than Words Can Say (McClelland & Stewart, 145 pages, $9.95 paper).
Like others in this anthology, she writes of being "saved" by print. In her case this means rescue from solitude and from a painful but precious sense of being different.
June Callwood writes of a starker salvation, of literacy as deliverance from a cruet cage. As usual, she gets to the heart of things quickly: "Carole Boudrias shudders when she remembers the time ... she mistook adult pain-killers for the child-size dose and made her feverish child much sicker." In our society, Callwood says, the illiterate are "human discards.... surplus people, spare parts for which society has no use. Unless there is a war.
David Adams Richards salutes the dogged brilliance of a godson with a learning disability who, like so many of that silent, secret army, escaped detection by the exercise of much more cogitation and persistence than most of us apply in learning to read.