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Book Reviews in March 1996 Issue

Book Review
But Add to the Usual Suspects
by Bruce Meyer
When it began inauspiciously in 1970 as a gestetnered literary supplement to the Graduate English Association Newsletter at the University of Toronto, few would have paid more than passing attention to Descant. The frail little gathering of sheets, a
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Book Review
The Sacred Heart above the Sink
by Richard Greene
Donald McGrath's At First Light is an attractive first volume from a poet of considerable gifts. His poetry, in the main, is derived from an intense recollection of a Catholic childhood in eastern Newfoundland. At its best, his poetry achieves a
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Conan Doyle
223 pages $29.95
ISBN: 0773729348
Book Review
Away from Holmes
by I. M. Owen
I have been reading Conan Doyle since soon after I learned to read, yet I knew little about him beyond the facts that he was trained as a physician and that he was a convinced spiritualist. Michael Coren's biography is therefore welcome. This quinte
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Book Review
No Ph. D. , But Still Horny
by Keith Nickson
Many respected writers who started publishing in the mid-to-late seventies have doggedly got by on grants, teaching stints, journalism, and decent reviews. They have yet to find a sizeable audience. This generation includes Trevor Ferguson, Paulette
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Cartouches
by Lola L. Tastevin,

pages $13.95 TP
ISBN: 0889223556
Subject to Criticism Essays
220 pages $15.95
ISBN: 1551280256
Book Review
Stretch or Destroy
by Ted Whittaker
Common readers, as Harold Bloom says in The Western Canon, are an endangered species. Our lineage is respectable enough, and one of our most attractive traits is, or used to be, our evangelical character. We like to spread around, as widely as possible,
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Book Review
Tourist vs. Tourists
by Judith Fitzgerald
"Mass language is the medium of `communication', and its users are less interested in bringing to formal order what is sometimes called the `affective state' than in arousing that state."-Allen Tate, "Tension in Poetry", 1938. Jerusalem, beloved,
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Aftermath Travels in a Post-War World
239 pages $29.95
ISBN: 1550137166
Book Review
Never Cry Minx
by Howard Engel
Farley Mowat, using more than thirty books with his name on them as a spade, has dug a deep niche into the snow-bank of Canadian letters. He has dug it himself, and there is no-one who belongs there beside himself. With his personal mixture of
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Book Review
Caressing Unknown Flesh
by R. M. Vaughan
To Hell with Objectivity. I feel no need whatsoever to be anything less than ecstatic over the arrival, finally, of a book of selected plays by Sky Gilbert. Like many Queer writers, I am in debt to his ferocious, fearless quest for the truths of living
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Harlequin in Hogtown George Luscombe and Toronto Workshop Productions
247 pages $50
ISBN: 0802006809
Book Review
Revolutionary Harlequin
by Keith Garebian
While our less sensible cultural nationalists still concern themselves with checking passports and birthrights to Canadian identity, Neil Carson's book is useful in bringing home to them an inescapable irony in the history of our theatre:
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Book Review
Suddenness of Mountains
by Donna Nurse
My first position in journalism was as an editorial assistant for CBC's National newsroom on Jarvis Street in Toronto. The best part of the job had little to do with my actual duties, which mainly entailed running copy as fast as I could from the fifth
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Book Review
The Cultural Metaphysics of Marshall McLuhan
by Charles Levin
"I am not a `culture critic' because I am not in any way interested in classifying cultural forms. I am a metaphysician, interested in the life of the forms and their surprising modalities."-Marshall McLuhan Essential McLuhan is just what its title
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Book Review
Nice Tries, Happy Accidents, & Stretched Dollars
by Ates Tanin
This handsomely produced book contains the set of lectures delivered by ten Nobel laureates in November 1994 for the inauguration of the John C. Polanyi chair at the University of Toronto. They have been edited with an introduction by Martin Moskovitz, th
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Stories from the Vinyl Cafe
284 pages $28.99
ISBN: 0670864765
Book Review
Waiting in a Shop for a Sign
by Andrew Faiz
All the ballyhoo about Canadian character and culture is really just a Toronto thing. For this, McLean's previous book, Welcome Home, is evidence. There on the main streets of small-town Canada (called Main Street or King Street or whatever) was an
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Strong Medicine How to Save Canada's Health Care System
by Michael Rachlis,

pages $22 TP
ISBN: 0006380611
Book Review
A Double-Blind Placebo Study?
by Ezra Levant
Predicting the future is always a tricky business, especially when the subject is politics. In Canada's unpredictable political landscape, prophecy and history seldom agree. Strong Medicine, just released in paperback, opts for a visionary rhetoric about
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Book Review
March is the Least Casual Month
by Russell Field
For serious baseball aficionados, March is a special time of year. While casual fans may relish the coming of spring and April's Opening Day or watching the boys of summer on humid August nights, dedicated enthusiasts need to shake off the doldrums of a
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Cloak of Green Business, Government and the Environmental Movement
498 pages $35
ISBN: 1550284517
Book Review
Cheating on Mother Nature
by Jeb Blount
Q:What do leading environmentalists, Canadian diplomats, international aid workers, Brazilian Indians, Bob Rae, Jacques Delors, the CIA, Paul Martin Jr., Brian Mulroney, Maurice Strong, Swiss bankers, Chinese spies, the Body Shop, multinational executives
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This Ain't No Healing Town Toronto Stories
274 pages $19.95
ISBN: 1550960393
Book Review
Would-Be Sin City
by David Eddie
"Toronto was once a mean, narrow town, wryly praised as a city of churches, dourly dismissed as a grungy little Belfast, and sneered at as Hoggtown [sic]. But since the Second World War, the city has been turned inside-out and upside-down," the jacket cop
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Driving Force The McLaughlin Family & the Age of the Car
402 pages $34.99
ISBN: 0771075561
Book Review
Roughing It in the Buick
by Donna Nurse
The problem with a book that sets out to be many things to many people is that it often ends up meaning little to anyone in particular. That plight very nearly befalls Driving Force, which chronicles the McLaughlin family's fortunes, their reign over
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Rethinking Federalism Citizens, Markets, and Governments in a Changing World
418 pages $60
ISBN: 0774805005
Book Review
You Say You Want a Devolution
by Donald Kjelmyr
A razor-thin victory in the October referendum has plunged Canadian federalism into its deepest crisis since Confederation. Politicians and pundits of many viewpoints agree that it is flawed, and that change, particularly some sort of decentralization, is
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Book Review
The Vietnam Five - or Six
by Scott Disher
"Deficit...the Internet...`draft dodger'...millennium." As the quadrennial quest for U.S. presidential power approaches its climactic season, one need not undertake a Nexis-like search of media databases to confirm that the American psyche is in the
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The Jesuit Mystique
304 pages $29.95
ISBN: 0771573294
Book Review
A Slippery Term
by Anne Roche
Yet another book about the Jesuits, to join 139 others in Books in Print: 1995-96. The Franciscans, more than three centuries older than the Jesuits, rate only sixty-six entries in the same volume. Francis was as great a saint as Ignatius, as brave a sold
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Interviews
Giving Free Reign - Paul Wilson speaks with Rohinton Mistry
by Paul Wilson
When Robertson Davies died last December, one of the eulogists at the Davies celebration at Convocation Hall in the University of Toronto was Rohinton Mistry, whose epic novel, A Fine Balance, had recently won the 1995 Giller Prize. Mistry, a modest,
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Letters to Editor
To the Editor
Normally a residence, however temporary, in a town of such radiant intelligence as Oxford, will elevate the vision of the most navel-gazing of Canadians, but not so for Mr. Stephen Henighan (Letters, February) [not "Stephan",
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Essays
In Praise of an Older Poet
I met Irving Layton only once, at an interview over coffee during his book tour for Fortunate Exile. I was in my mid-twenties then, and was aware of Layton's penchant for tweaking journalists' breasts and making titillating suggestions. Stupid girl that I
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Essays
Not by Bread - or Rock - Alone
by Donna Orwin
Since the collapse of the Soviet empire, enterprising businessmen have been travelling to Russia in search of adventure and a quick buck.
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Profiles
A Primer of African Canadian Literature - George Elliott Clarke's history
Writing of his sojourns in the Grand Republic, Matthew Arnold, in his article "General Grant" (1887), maligns the Yankee desire to craft a native literature: "We have `the American Walter Scott', `the American Wordsworth'; nay, I see advertised The
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The Last Castrato
by John S. Hill,

224 pages $20.95 TC
ISBN: 0312131070
First Novels
First Novels - Eunuchs & Opiates
by Eva Tihanyi
In The Last Castrato (Constable, 270 pages, $28.99 cloth), the University of Ottawa English professor John Spencer Hill has created a crime novel that engages the intellect and, at the same time, delivers the requisite dose of carefully
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The Incredible Shrinking Wife
by Patricia Keeney,

210 pages $19.95 TC
ISBN: 088753273X
First Novels
First Novels - Eunuchs & Opiates
by Eva Tihanyi
Katie Jones, the heroine of Patricia Keeney's The Incredible Shrinking Wife (Black Moss Press, 160 pages, $19.95 paper) is a writer. When the novel opens, she has just turned thirty and is returning to Canada after having spent five years
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Moon Honey
by Suzette Mayr,

196 pages $14.95 TP
ISBN: 1896300006
First Novels
First Novels - Eunuchs & Opiates
by Eva Tihanyi
Suzette Mayr kickstarts Moon Honey (NeWest Press, 216 pages, $14.95 paper) with an unusual transformation: Carmen, an eighteen-year-old white waitress, becomes miraculously black-a change her fiancÚ, Griffin, is not at all adverse to, having "
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The Space
by Patrick Borden,

152 pages $14.95 TC
ISBN: 0921852096
First Novels
First Novels - Eunuchs & Opiates
by Eva Tihanyi
In The Space (Empyreal Press, 160 pages, $14.95 paper), Patrick Borden describes a not-so-distant future world (Vancouver, specifically), in which drug use is not only acceptable, but encouraged. Heroin is doled out to addicts by the government,
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The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
by Christopher P. Curtis,

192 pages $20.95 TC
ISBN: 0385321759
First Novels
First Novels - Eunuchs & Opiates
by Eva Tihanyi
The Watsons Go to Birmingham (Delacorte Press, 216 pages, $20.95 cloth) is a young adult novel by a Windsor, Ontario resident, Christopher Paul Curtis, aimed at the Grade 4 to 8 audience. The Watsons, originally from Alabama,
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Sparks Return
by John Prince,

250 pages $15.95 TP
ISBN: 0968004598
First Novels
First Novels - Eunuchs & Opiates
by Eva Tihanyi
According to the cover blurb, John Prince's A Place for Sparks (Lugus Publications, 224 pages, $12.95 paper) is an "ingenious tying together.of successful short story ideas. The humour is overwhelming, the pace-breathtaking!"
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At Large
At Large
by Michael Coren
There can be few such desirable and seductive tasks in Canadian literature as writing the first major biography of Mordecai Richler. Chronicling him involves exploring his time in Europe and North America, reading his fiction,
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First Novel Award
First Novel Award Shortlist
We are pleased to announce six finalists-at first, five were planned. But to avoid a painful choice at this preliminary stage, we asked the three judges to read one more. The winner will be announced in the May issue. This award is easy to apply
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Outlook
Outlook - Writing Among the Mountains
by Brian Bartlett
It's been said many times: writing is at heart a solitary act. In the light of archetypal sites like the tower, the garret, and the study, there's something fascinating about writers congregating by a lake or among mountains to practise their art,
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