Book Reviews in August 1990 Issue

Book Review
Amazed And Bemused
by Gary Draper
IT'S POSSIBLE, sometimes, to dislike a novel so intensely that it becomes interesting. I hated reading Jim Parrs Megafart (Lugus, 299 pages, $10.00 paper), but I found thinking about the book afterward quite enjoyable, simply because it made me ask so many questions about what is funny and why, about the nature of satire, about differences in taste.
The Pumpkin-Eaters
by Lois Braun

259 pages
ISBN: 0888011142
Book Review
Dreams Of Escape
by Dayv James-French
Lois BRAUN`S FIRST collection of stories, The Stone Watermelon, was nominated for the Governor General`s Award. In most of the 12 stories in The Pumpkin-Eaters, she opens the psyches of the people who inhabit a prairie town called Silvercreek. The stories with other settings -- Toronto, Mexico, travelling on the highway -- are populated by characters who seem oddly disconnected from their surroundings, as though they are carrying small-town conventions and constrictions with them.
Book Review
The Ethics Of Fiction
by W.J. Keith
IN THE EARLY 1960s, a black instructor in the English department of the University of Chicago shocked his white colleagues by protesting against the inclusion of Huckleberry Finn as a required text in the first?year curriculum on the grounds that he found it offensively racist. One of these colleagues was Wayne C. Booth, author of the highly influential critical study A Rhetoric of Fiction (1961).
Book Review
States Of Emergency
by Kenneth Mcgooghan
Andre Brink on the insidious effects of censorship THE DEVASTATING politics of apartheid," the white South African author was telling his Canadian audience, 11 engulf, every hidden, private corner of my existence as an individual.
A Time to Choose Life Women, Abortion & Human Rights
by Ian Gentles,

256 pages TP
ISBN: 0773753664
Book Review
Hearts And Minds
by Anne Denoon
ALTHOUGH ITS TITLE and the nursery colours that adorn its cover announce its allegiance unequivocably, this collection of essays is apparently intended to lift the abortion debate out of the mean, invective-filled streets where it normally rages, and to place it on higher intellectual ground. Its unsigned introduction calls for "thoughtful consideration" of the issue and promises that it will be explored with a "fresh voice" and "in a dispassionate manner
Book Review
As You Like It
by I. M. Owen
As: SOME MONTHS ago Lukin Robinson asked me to denounce what might be called the redundant as. That's when a sentence begins, say, As talented as he is.... or As much as I like her...; the first as in each example is totally unnecessary and meaningless. I agreed that this was a frequent irritant, and decided to watch for occurrences in print or manuscript. Strangely, I haven't run across any since.
The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova
by Anna Akhmatova, Roberta Reeder, Judith Hemschemeyer,

Zephyr Press
1604 pages CT
ISBN: 0939010135
Book Review
The Soul Of Russia
by Al Purdy
A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN she was not, on the evidence I It nearly a hundred photographs tit these two books. She was majestic instead, her Dose imperial Roman, unsmiling, for every camera. She possessed immense natural dignity. Men fell in love with her continually. She married three times. Even in old age, her face and cariage were triking and received homage. Indeed, she expected homage, almost demanded it according to some who knew her well; and accepted it without Surprise.
Book Review
The Literary Passions Of Brian Moore
by Joel Yanofsky
THERE IS A SCENE in Brian Moore's 1962 novel, An Answer from Limbo, which has stayed with me. It's at the end of the story and the narrator, Brendan Tierney, is at the cemetery, a bystander at his mother's funeral. Instead of mourning his mother's death, though, another, stronger instinct takes over
The Wild Blue Yonder
by Audrey Thomas,

Viking Penguin
256 pages TP
ISBN: 0670829641
Book Review
Economy Of The Moment
by Larry Scanlan
There are more hard questions than easy answers in Audrey Thomas`s intriguing new fictions FIVE YEARS AGO someone asked Audrey Thomas if at the age of 50 she had reached her peak as a writer. She coyly wondered if her questioner meant pique, or perhaps peek, and went on to blame her father -- who would say, "What`s for dinner: Mother?" -- for the awful puns, word play, and curiosity about language that mark both her fiction and her conversation.
Despite the Odds
by M. Ainley,

pages PT
ISBN: 0919890962
Book Review
Forgotten Genius
by Heather Menzies
THE WORLD OF "women in science" is one viewed through a prism, with different landscapes visible or not depending on the eye of the beholder. Most often, the eye follows the mainstream (also called malestream) frames of reference to find women who`ve made a contribution to science and technology in the recognizable terms of professional work and achievement -- at university, in government or industry labs.
The Secret Voice
by Gaetan Brulotte,

96 pages TP
ISBN: 0889840970
Book Review
by Nino Ricci
THIS COLLECTION of short fiction by the Quebec writer Gaetan Brulotte was widely acclaimed when it appeared in French as Le surveillant in 1982, winning the Prix Adrienne-Choquette and the Prix FranceQuebec as well as being nominated for the Governor General`s Award. Certainly there is Much to be commended here: the writing moves easily from the wryly humorous to the rapturous, and Brulotte possesses a Kafkaesque flair for pushing the mundane into the realm of the menacing and the absurd.
Book Review
Crafting The Writer
by Laurel Boone
WHY DID DOUGLAS GLOVER return to the Maritime Writers' Workshop for a second stint as a fictionwriting instructor? Was it the money? (He laughs.) The fun? (He winces.) The Fredericton weather? (He could endure the same heat and humidity back home in Saratoga Springs, New York.) No, he says, he likes the polite and peaceful atmosphere of the Maritime Writers' Workshop.
When Television Was Young Primetime Canada 1952-1967
by Paul Rutherford,

638 pages TC
ISBN: 0802058302
Book Review
Reading Tv
by Morris Wolfe
PAUL RUTHERFORD has produced a lengthy, sometimes fascinating, sometimes irritating history of the first 15 years of TV in Canada. He argues correctly but patronizingly that Canadians expected too much of public television. Not only did they believe CBC TV was going to offer quality programming that would satisfy all tastes, but that it would keep popular American culture at bay. Canadians, of course, weren`t alone in expecting too much of television.
Springs of Living Water
by Karen Lawrence,

256 pages TC
ISBN: 0394568087
Book Review
Family Ties
by Sherie Posesorski
MIN MCCUNE is so fogged in by inertia and fear that she cannot think clearly enough to make any decisions about her future.
These Lawns
by M. Reid,

pages PT
ISBN: 0889950458
Story For A Saskatchewan
by D. Barbour,

pages PT
ISBN: 0889950474
Book Review
Prairie Dawning
by Charlene Diehl-Jones
THE WRITING WEST SERIES from Red Deer College Press has done it again: two new books of poems, beautifully designed and printed, two invitations to hear the voices of prairie writers. Monty Reid`s poems in These Lawns speaks of a world we already know, bits of familiar living strung together on a "thread of light": a solitary man skating lost dreams of hockey fame, dawn discovering a white-housecoated raspberry picker, an old man shovelling spring snow from his neighbours` sidewalks.
Farming the System
by Wilson,

pages TP
ISBN: 088833317X
Trading Up How Cargill, the World's Largest Grain Company, is Changing Canadian Agriculture
by Brewster Kneen,

University of Toronto Press
144 pages TP
ISBN: 1550210602
Book Review
To Market, To Market
by Jim Algie
THE CHALLENGE IN writing about agriculture for general readers lies in reducing the subject`s complexity. Farm work is surrounded by complex bureaucracies devised in the public interest to maintain food supplies and to provide raw materials for the country`s sizeable processing and transportation industries. In fiscal 1987-1988 the Canadian government spent $5.3 billion supporting the country`s two hundred thousand or so farmers.
Two Spectacular Seasons
by William B. Mead,

Macmillan Publishing Company, Incorporated
288 pages TC
ISBN: 0025837311
Men at Work The Craft of Baseball
by George F. Will,

224 pages CT
ISBN: 0026284707
The Baseball Book, 1990
by Bill James,

pages TP
ISBN: 0679724117
The Only Ticket Off The Island
by Gare Joyce

Lester & Orpen Dennys
229 pages $24.95
ISBN: 0886193249
Book Review
The Majors And The Minors
by Brian Fawcett
ON THE JACKET OF this year`s baseball bestseller, Men at Work, sits George F. Will in a dark suit, striped shirt, and bowtie. He`s holding a baseball bat, but he looks Much more like his name: a cross between a U.S. Undersecretary of Something Serious, and a figment from Triumph of the Will as conceived by the corporate sector. What he`s done in his bestseller fits the image, too
Book Review
Everyday Science
by Bronwen Wallace
I'm working on this theory that the way we think is directly related to the brain's being 80 per cent water. It's an ocean up there, thoughts drifting, shifting on the currents of scent and sound, past lives surfacing like drowned bodies when you least expect, poems nuzzling idle in pools to see what light makes of those hours in the middle of an afternoon, the whole mind, coming Lip, just once, in a splash Of Sun and air, eyes, lungs, a single organ in the glare of a Big Idea.
Book Review
Clearing The Air
by Brian Fawcett
HAVING AN OPPORTUNITY to read and review a ;clcctiol) of recently published books oil the environment at first struck me as an unmitigated privilege. No subject is more timely or urgent, and, like most people, I know pitifully little about many areas of concern. Realizing that something is important, but not having the time or inclination to find out why it is important is, of course, the classic liberal dodge.
Divided Loyalties, Kulyk Keefer
JANICE KULYK KEEFER is the author of seven books: the short story collections The Paris?Napoli Express (Oberon, 1986), Transfigurations (Ragweed, 1987), and Travelling Ladies (Random House, 1990); the novel Constellations (Random House, 1988); the poetry collection White of the Lesser Angels (Ragweed, 1986); and the critical studies Under Eastern Eyes: A Critical Reading of Maritime Fiction (University of Toronto Press, 1987) and Reading Mavis Gallant (Oxford University Press, 1989).
Great Authors
Questionnaire Results
by The Editors
You've always been our favourite readers, and it Looks as though the feeling's mutual "I don't care what you have to do, just get me an interview with this guy Trollope!" OUR SINCERE thanks to those 623 read ers who took the time to fill out the questionnaire in our April issue.

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