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Book Reviews in April 1997 Issue

Rooms for Rent in the Outer Planets Selected Poems 1962-1996
200 pages $16.95
ISBN: 1550171488
Book Review
Purdytion
by Judith Fitzgerald
For reasons I choose to cherish, Al Purdy and The PH Factor (a.k.a. The Goal) shine luminously in my memories as intermeshed miracles meant to last forever. It's 1972, first year of university and it's hockey, hockey, glorious Canada-Russia hockey with
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Book Review
Inspiration's Last Will
by Donna Nurse
Lise Bissonnette, the publisher of Montreal's Le Devoir, seemed somewhat bemused by the surprise that greeted the arrival of her first novel, Marie suivant l'ÚtÚ (1993), in English, Following the Summer. "In Europe," she was quoted as saying,
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In Search of a New Left Canadian Politics after the Neoconservative Assault
232 pages $29.99
ISBN: 067085901X
Book Review
Waffle Redux
by Gerald Owen
Few people move left in their fifties. James Laxer is one. He has drawn back from the brink of centrism (a mixed, even contradictory metaphor, I know). The whole history of his opinions is unusual, but not just eccentric: not merely off-centre,
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Book Review
Animating Objects
by Kim Maltman
Younger poets-it is often said-with their enthusiasms cannot help but wear their influences on their sleeves, unlike older poets, who have learned to hide them. In the case of Alan Wilson's first book, Animate Objects, many poets, from Kinnell
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Book Review
Shocking, Merry, Tangible, & Magical
by J. R. (Tim) Struthers
"It must be violent." Did Andy Stubbs, author of Myth, Origins, Magic: A Study of Form in Eli Mandel's Writing, tell me that? Have I adapted it from Wallace Stevens's "Adagia"? Or am I making this up? Whatever the source (perhaps an attentive reader
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Book Review
Something Else Entirely Could Emerge
by Maureen Harris
On the cover of Ann Copeland's most recent collection of short stories is a detail from Cranach the Elder's Adam and Eve. In spite of the adage about confusing cover with content, the picture provides a good entry to the fictions within. In the painting
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eye wuz here Stories by Women Writers under 30
277 pages $19.95
ISBN: 1550545248
Book Review
Young Women Excel
by Nikki Abraham
There's hardly a pedestrian or workmanlike piece amongst all the twenty-eight stories gathered by Shannon Cooley in her cross-country search for new female voices in fiction. The energy and intelligence here are so impressive that it can be difficult
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Bowering's B.C. A Swashbuckling History
416 pages $32
ISBN: 0670857572
Book Review
Carpering Coyote-like
by Jim Christy
Six years ago in these pages, the reviewer of George Woodcock's British Columbia: A History of the Province, wrote that "the author called to mind one of those trailblazers that Mackenzie or Thompson might have sent into rugged country, completely
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City Unique Montreal Days & Nights in the 1940s & '50s
332 pages $32.5
ISBN: 0771089910
Book Review
The Open Closed Society
by Elaine Kalman Naves
Since his books are spaced out over intervals of seventeen years or so, you can hardly call William Weintraub a prolific writer. But you can certainly call him a provocative and entertaining writer who, as an adjunct to his distinguished career
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Book Review
Time & Crime
by Derek Lundy
My relationship with Scott Turow has unfolded in reverse order. First, I wrote his biography; then, I got to meet and interview him. The biography was, perhaps more accurately, a profile or a biographical sketch. Its publisher wanted something that
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Trouble & Desire
150 pages $11.95
ISBN: 1895387590
Book Review
Best Two Feet Forward
by Vivian Palin
"My father has to pull in by anyone he sees walking on the road and offer them a lift. He must buy gas at both gas stations even though he does not need it...He must check on all the old people to assure them that the new doctor has given them the right
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Born at the Right Time A History of the Baby Boom Generation
315 pages $34.95
ISBN: 0802059570
Book Review
Boomers: Suchness or Muchness?
by Daniel Stoffman
In 1955, more than ten million Davy Crockett coonskin caps found their way onto the heads of North American children, fans of the hugely popular Disney television series based on the American folk hero. So powerful was the demand for this retro fashion
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Grading the Teacher A Parent's Guide
by Nellie Jacobs,

256 pages $16.99 TP
ISBN: 0140256121
In School Our Kids, Our Teachers, Our Classrooms,
296 pages $29.99
ISBN: 0771028695
Book Review
School Salvage & Rescue
by Ted Whittaker
The educational meliorists will go to heaven too, right along with the revolutionary teachers (some will say they'll get there first). They're the ones who still have time for the public schools, who know that, when one agrees to teach everybody who
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Book Review
Garden Chances Let Slip
by Jill Cooper Robinson
Surely only in a moment of weakness does a writer release a silly sentimental shell of a book like this. Ostensibly, it is Douglas Chambers's account of being a first-time gardener discovering the satisfaction in wresting a planned landscape
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Book Review
The Villainies of Virtue
by Richard Lubbock
Love is a virtue unknown to beings of the Vulcan race, according to the annals of Star Trek. The precision of the Vulcans, exemplified by Mr. Spock, and their stern powers of judgement, conform rigidly to the tenets of the mathematical theory of games.
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Book Review
Through Spain to Canary Wharf
by Douglas Bell
This is the sort of prodigious and intelligent biographical study that blows away the fog and cobwebs built up after twenty odd years of journalistic scrutiny. In this instance, Bianco's very compelling chronicle of undiscovered lands guides the reader
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In Search of Authority An Introductory Giude to Literary Theory
190 pages $16.95
ISBN: 1551110830
Book Review
Theory for Beginners
by Damian Tarnopolsky
In Search of Authority is an admirably clear introduction to a confusing and sometimes intimidating subject. Concise and engaging, it stops in at the major sites of twentieth-century theory: historical criticism, new criticism, structuralism,
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Book Review
Through the Glass-faced Bookshelf
by Peter Collins
In a corner of the office of the Sexual Assault Squad of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Service sits a glass-faced bookshelf containing about 250 paperbacks with titles like Evil Angels, Careless Whispers, Until the Twelfth of Never, The Torso Murders,
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Impossible Nation The Longing for Homeland in Canada & Quebec
175 pages $16.5
ISBN: 1551280337
Book Review
Impossible? Which? Or Both?
by Alexander Craig
What do you call someone who speaks three languages? A polyglot. Two languages? Un franšais. Who speaks just one language? Un anglais. This rueful old Quebec joke comes to mind when one considers one of the main underlying themes of Conlogue's book:
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Portarits from a Life
240 pages $18
ISBN: 1550650777
Book Review
Sketches of a Naive Enthusiast
by John Pepall
In eighteen years as a member of parliament, Heward Grafftey barely escaped being one of Pierre Trudeau's nobodies. He was for most of his time one of a handful of Tory members from Quebec and briefly the only one. He held two minor portfolios in Clark's
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Book Review
An Attic Dilemma
by William Mathie
In 1629 the great English philosopher Thomas Hobbes published a translation of Thucydides' Peloponnesian War. He had decided to teach Thucydides English, he later wrote, so that he might serve as "a guide to rhetoricians". Hobbes praised Thucydides as the
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Book Review
Edison Naps, Keeps Us Awake
by James Morton
Do we need to sleep as much as we do? This, and other provocative questions, are dealt with by Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, in his most recent book, Sleep Thieves. The anecdotal evidence on the...
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Book Review
Shades of the Sixties
by Keith Nickson
Time: Late August, 1963. Dusk. Place: Sand dunes on Cape Cod. Surf washes up nearby. Event: Writers, musicians, and painters gather and socialize in sixties style. They comment knowingly on the crepuscular light. They drink. They talk in hushed tones
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Letters to Editor
To the Editor
Some months ago a group of people calling itself P.A.CT. (Parents against Corrupt Teaching) sent out to the residents of Halton County in Ontario a sixteen-page "flyer" devoted solely to its opposition to the class
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Essays
Reading by Railway
The snow blows past the windows of the train as you look out into the almost monochrome landscape of northern New Brunswick, black shapes of the woods, white snow on the ground and along the branches, hints of dark green and brown as if a black-and-white
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Elephant Winter
by Kim Echlin,

208 pages $13.99 TP
ISBN: 0140263500
First Novels
First Novels - Ontarian Safari
by Eva Tihanyi
Kim Echlin's Elephant Winter (Penguin/Viking, 208 pages, $25 cloth) is an original, emotionally resonant novel. Sophie Walker, the narrator, is back home from Africa; her forty-nine-year-old artist mother, who is dying of cancer, has asked
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Woman's Work Is There Life after Birth?
by Sylvia Mulholland,

327 pages $12.99 MM
ISBN: 0340674830
First Novels
First Novels - Ontarian Safari
by Eva Tihanyi
Sylvia Mulholland's Woman's Work (General, 328 pages, $29.95 cloth) will likely strike a chord with any woman who has juggled family, career, and home ownership and wondered in the process whether a course in time management might be not only
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Summer of My Amazing Luck
by Miriam Toews,

192 pages $16.95 TP
ISBN: 0888012055
First Novels
First Novels - Ontarian Safari
by Eva Tihanyi
Summer of My Amazing Luck, by Miriam Toews (Turnstone, 192 pages, $16.95 paper), is in one sense the flip side of Woman's Work. The eighteen-year-old Lucy Van Alstyne, although born into a solidly upper-middle-class family, ends up living
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Neither Black nor White yet Both Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature
by Werner Sollors,

592 pages $59.95 TC
ISBN: 019505282X
First Novels
First Novels - Ontarian Safari
by Eva Tihanyi
Finally, this month, there's It's Neither Black Nor White, Charlie Brown (India Book Distributors, 414 pages, price unknown, paper), by Mir Raza Alikhan. Right from its opening pages, this overwritten, pedantic novel calls to mind Ayn Rand: painful
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Object of Your Love
by Dorothy Speak,

230 pages $19.95 TP
ISBN: 1895897726
Brief Reviews
Brief reviews
by Anne Steacy
If you're feeling terrible, read the stories in Object of Your Love (Somerville House, 196 pages, $19.95 paper): you'll feel worse. But it will be an amazed, energizing, surly worse. You will loathe Dorothy Speak's array
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Miss O My Life in Dance
by Betty Oliphant, Mikhail Baryshnikov,

288 pages $26.95 TC
ISBN: 0888012101
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews
by Keith Garebian
Canadian balletomanes know Betty Oliphant's considerable achievements as founder of Canada's National Ballet School. But anyone hoping for extended revelations in Miss O: My Life in Dance (Turnstone, 271 pages, $26.95 cloth) about her love-hate
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Children's Books
Children`s Books
by Welwyn Katz
In this earnestly autobiographical story by Roch Carrier, a former Stephen Leacock Medallist for humour, the author of The Hockey Sweater is still afflicted with his mother's taste in clothing. It is in a dreadful suit of purple and pink plaid
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Children's Books
Children`s Books
by Don Aker
A bear browsing on berries, deer standing amid daisies and dandelions, kayakers glimpsing Kokanee salmon-such are the images vividly captured in A Mountain Alphabet, Tundra's follow-up publication to its 1992 A Prairie Alphabet.
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The Mastodon Mystery
119 pages $7.95
ISBN: 0889996202
Children's Books
Children`s Books
by Gillian Chan
In The Mastodon Mystery, a boy called James is sent to stay with a great-aunt, whom he hardly knows, in the small Nova Scotia town of Norton. Although this is a tired and overused device in children's literature, it allows Dorothy Perkyns
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Children's Books
Children`s Books
by Gillian Chan
Spy Science is an attractive and interesting book which will appeal to many children-or such at least are the initial impressions. Jim Wiese, an elementary school science teacher from British Columbia, obviously finds espionage and its everyday
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Necklace of Stars
30 pages $17.95
ISBN: 0773729674
Children's Books
Children`s Books
by Rasa Mazeika
The power of myth and folklore has not abated in the modern age. Like our ancestors, we long for archetypes and magical images, even if expressed on a flickering computer screen rather than by the flickering light of a campfire. Authors of children's book
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Glory Days and Other Stories
128 pages $4.95
ISBN: 1550743198
Children's Books
Children`s Books
by Geoffrey Cook
Glory Days is a collection of five stories told from the points of view of five high school students from the fictional Elmwood, Ontario. The two young women and three young men represent a variety of socio-economic positions, peer groups,
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At Large
At Large
by Michael Coren
Every so often literature provides the context for a gigantic manifestation of conviction. Someone who thought and believed one idea, one truth, suddenly alters an opinion. That person rethinks and repents, and in so doing rewrites
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Douglas Fetherling
Douglas Fetherling - Reciprocity in Exiles
by Douglas Fetherling
A wonderful aspect of the long and tangled relationship between the United States and Canada is the way that the two societies have so often given refuge to each other's rebels. I'm thinking not only of Loyalists, those rebels against rebellion,
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First Novel Award
First Novel Award - Embarras de Richesse
It has been a truly remarkable year for Canadian first novels, a year that has seen the publication of such fine books as Tamarind Mem, by Anita Rau Badami, The Year of Lesser, by David Bergen, The Photographer's Sweethearts, by Diana Hartog,
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