Book Reviews in November 1995 Issue

Note from Editor
Note from the Editor
by Olga Stein
In August, 1995, Books in Canada was sold to a new publisher. Soon after, the tide of Proteus, the God of Changing Forms, swept into our offices. We were commanded to change our form,

The Second Coming of Yeeat Shpanst
by Armin Wiebe,

pages $17.95 TP
ISBN: 0888011970
Book Review
Nation's Salvage Yard
by Rita Donovan
In The Second Coming of Yeeat Shpanst, Armin Wiebe returns to Gutenthal, the fictional town of previous novels, a community that comes with its own extensive family tree, phrase book, and "Beetfield Chorus". This "Gutenthal Galaxy" is comprise
Guns of Normandy A Soldier's Eye View, France, 1944
by George G. Blackburn,

pages $34.99 TC
ISBN: 0771015003
V-Bombs & Weathermaps Reminiscences of World War II
by Brock McElheran,

199 pages $29.95 TC
ISBN: 0773513302
Book Review
FOOs and Doodlebugs
by Robert Stamp
The Second World War may well be over, even its fiftieth anniversary celebrations now a thing of the past, but the memories linger on, and on, and on. Personal memoirs of land, sea, and air battles from half a century ago promise
Journey Prize Anthology The Best of Canada's New Writers
by Guy Vanderhaeghe,

McClelland & Stewart/Tundra Books
pages $14.95 TP
ISBN: 0771003145
Book Review
Landed Parents
by Gayla Reid
You're probably familiar with the Journey story; in an act of brilliant planning, McClelland & Stewart arranges with James Michener to donate the Canadian royalties from his 1988 novel, Journey, to support emerging writers. The result is the
The Rain Ascends
by Joy Kogawa,

217 pages $28.95 TC
ISBN: 0394281217
Book Review
Dagger Descends, Rain Ascends
by Allan Casey
Joy Kogawa has a habit of writing fiction around what's filling up the newspapers. Or is it the papers who follow her lead? In Obasan and Itsuka, she offered a first-hand look at the troubled lives of Japanese-Canadians during World War II
Nationalism Without Walls The Unbearable Lightness of Being Canadian
by Richard Gwyn,

pages $29.99 TC
ISBN: 0771037171
Book Review
Richard Gwyn Stick-handles on Thin Ice
by H Forbes
Richard Gwyn's discussion of the Canadian identity or "the idea of Canada" combines enthusiastic endorsement of Canada as a multicultural nation with frank criticisms of the main policies that have made us what we are. Canada, he says, I
On the Eve of the Millennium
by Conor C. O'Brien,

pages $12.95 PT
ISBN: 0887845592
Book Review
Conor Cruises the Millenium and fears for the Elightenment
by Waller Newell
Conor Cruise O'Brien is an attractive type of figure, and an increasingly rare one-a passionate liberal. "Liberal" is my term, not his; Mr. O'Brien prefers to speak of the Enlightenment. So I want to make it clear that by liberalism,
A Likely Story The Writing Life
by Robert Kroetsch,

Orca Book Publishers
224 pages $14.95 TP
ISBN: 0889951039
Book Review
A Somewhat Schizophrenic Package
by Tim Bowling
The most important point to make about A Likely Story is that it's not an autobiography, at least not in any conventional sense. In fact, the author himself claims that such a genre is impossible. As a result, the book is entirely free of literary
Who Knows Safeguarding Your Privacy in a Networked World
by Ann Cavoukian, Don Tapscott,

240 pages $0 TC
ISBN: 0070633207
Who Knows ? Safeguarding Your Privacy in a Networked World
by Ann Cavoukian, Don Tapscott,

240 pages $29.95 TC
ISBN: 0394224728
Book Review
Little Brother is Watching You
by Jack Hope
While we may think ourselves politically savvy enough to recognize Big Brother when he comes, and politically secure enough to stop him, Little Brother is coming in through the back door and stealing our privacy, and hence our freedom,
Out of the Whirlwind A Novel
by M. T. Kelly,

208 pages $22.95 CT
ISBN: 0773729011
Book Review
Incompatible Canoeists
by Sharon Butala
This is a hard book to review without giving away too much of the plot: Four people who, for the most part don't much like each other, without sufficient explanation as to why, and no guns, go on what they think is a well-planned and
The Bride of Texas A Romantic Tale from the Real World
by Josef Skvorecky, Kaca Polacova-Henley,

638 pages $32 TC
ISBN: 0394280601
Book Review
The Czech-American Civil War
by I. M. Owen
This big, sprawling novel of the American Civil War really shouldn't work, but for me it does, triumphantly. The narrative technique Josef Skvorecky used in his previous historical novel, Dvorak in Love, is here continued and futher
Stompin' Tom Before the Fame
by Tom Connors,

pages $9.99 MM
ISBN: 0140251111
Book Review
His Mother's Thumb was Missing
by Jim Christy
Stompin' Tom Connors has given us a road book: the story of his life to the age of thirty-one, before his name became known to people who hadn't yet met him. It is fitting, therefore, that the book is like the road: by turns harrowing and funny,
Alexandre Kojeve The Roots of Postmodern Politics
by Shadia B. Drury,

pages $27.95 CT
ISBN: 0312120923
Book Review
Heaven on Earth - Yours, at a Price
by Bryan-paul Frost
This book on the political thought and influence of Alexandre Kojève is further testimony to the absolutely central place this left-wing French philosopher occupies for anyone who wants to think seriously about the meaning of modernity a
The Ecstasy of Resistance A Biography of George Ryga
by James Hoffman,

350 pages $19.95 TP
ISBN: 1550222465
Book Review
After Such Resistance, What Ecstasy
by Keith Garebian
The first sentence of James Hoffman's critical biography of George Ryga tells us that Ryga is "a Canadian playwright". The first sentence of his second paragraph calls Ryga "one of our major Canadian playwrights". Then, just in case we may have dozed
Mindfire Dialogues in the Other Future
by Alexander Blair-Ewart,

360 pages $24.95 TP
ISBN: 1895897432
Book Review
New Age, or Bad New Days
by Ursula Franklin
Anyone interested in and confused about the future might be well- advised to read these two books together, or rather side by side, not just one after the other. This idea came to me when I began reading Mindfire and started
Louis MacNeice
by Jon Stallworthy, John Stallworthy,

pages $50 CT
ISBN: 0571160190
Book Review
Louis MacNeice's Strings Weren't False
by Kildare Dobbs
The name of Louis MacNeice, as the Irish poet Derek Mahon recently remarked, "is still overshadowed by those of Auden and Spender-to each of whom he was, in significant respects, a superior poet." Having immersed myself for some months in the
The Necrofiles
by Donna Lypchuk,

224 pages $16.95 PT
ISBN: 1896356028
Book Review
So? And?
by David Eddie
In his introduction to the necrofiles, the first collection of Donna Lypchuk's columns for eye weekly, William Burrill tells how he first met Donna Lypchuk. He was managing editor of the paper, looking for writers. One stood out, and he met her
A Woman in My Position The Politics of Breast Implant Safety
by Linda Wilson, Dianne Brown,

156 pages $16.95 TP
ISBN: 1550210904
Book Review
Ounce of Prevention, Pound of Disaster
by Cordelia Strube
In 1985 Linda Wilson underwent a double mastectomy on the advice of a surgeon recommended by her G.P. Usually this procedure is performed to remove cancerous growths. But in her case the surgery was to remove recurring fibrocystic lumps in her breasts.
The Epic of Qayaq The Longest Story Ever Told by My People
by Lela K. Oman, Priscilla Tyler, Maree Brooks, Ann Candonnet,

University of Washington Press
144 pages $22.5 TP
ISBN: 0295975318
The Epic of Qayak The Longest Story Ever Told By My People
by Lela K. Oman, Priscilla Tyler, Maree Brooks,

200 pages $24.95 TP
ISBN: 0886292670
The Manitous The Spiritual World of the Ojibway
by Basil Johnston,

276 pages $28.95 CT
ISBN: 1550137123
Book Review
Urgent Story-Telling
by Beth Cuthand
"We are only one generation away from extinction," says N. Scott Momaday, a Pulitzer Prize winning Kiowa author and oral traditions scholar. "If our stories are not passed on, we will die." Aboriginal story-tellers are well aware
Staples, Markets, & Cultural Change Selected Essays
by Harold A. Innis, Daniel Drache,

552 pages $60 TC
ISBN: 0773512993
Book Review
by William Christian
"Who the hell is Harold Innis?" is a line in a song of the students at Innis College at the University of Toronto (named in his honour). But when he died in November 1952, he was Canada's pre-eminent social scientist. Although he has a
Toronto Architect Edmund Burke Redefining Canadian Architecture
by Angela Carr,

248 pages $49.95 TC
ISBN: 0773512179
Ron Thom The Shaping of an Architect
by Douglas Shadbolt,

176 pages $40 TC
ISBN: 1550544128
Book Review
Reserve, & Warts & All
by Laura Byrne
Two new books about influential Canadian architects could not be more different-just as, one suspects, their subjects could not have been more different. Angela Carr, an assistant professor of art history at Carleton University, h
Dear Marian, Dear Hugh The MacLennan-Engel Correspondence
by Christl Verduyn,

144 pages $17 TP
ISBN: 0776604031
Book Review
Over Their Shoulders
by Patrick McDonagh
love to read other people's correspondence-a pleasure I no doubt share with many. There is something about that privileged entry into the lives and relationships of others that cannot be experienced in any other form of writing.
My Times Living
by Pierre Berton,

448 pages $34.95 TC
ISBN: 0385255284
Book Review
The Great Recycler
by Anne Denoon
Pierre Berton's sixtieth published book picks up where Starting Out, his first volume of autobiography left off, and begins with his arrival in Toronto in 1947. The postwar metropolis he evokes in My Times was still essentially the Good, with
Globalization & the Decline of Social Reform
by Gary Teeple,

200 pages $15 TP
ISBN: 0391039512
Toward a Canadian Economy
188 pages $15.95
ISBN: 0802076
Beyond Poverty & Affluence
by Bob Goudzwaard, Harry De Lange,

pages $16.95 TP
ISBN: 0802076378
Wheel of Fortune Work & Life in the Age of Falling Expectations
by Jamie Swift,

280 pages $34.95 CT
ISBN: 0921284888
Book Review
Comfortless Remedies
by Desmond Morton
In 1989, something unusual happened. With the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a single ideology prevailed around the globe. Christianity, Islam, Marxist-Leninists had only dreamed of world conquest for their version of the truth. Capitalism, in contrast
The Gift of Death
by Andre Picard,

288 pages $28 TC
ISBN: 0002554151
Bad Blood The Tragedy of the Canadian Tainted Blood Scandal
by Vic Parsons,

288 pages $16.95 CT
ISBN: 1895555515
Book Review
System of Blood
by Clive Cocking
I admire the restraint of Vic Parsons and André Picard in not allowing their writing voices to rise above reasoned condemnation in their complementary accounts of Canada's decade-long saga of tainted blood. Where the colossal botch-up of
Strange Things The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature
by Margaret Atwood,

160 pages $27.5 TC
ISBN: 0198119763
Book Review
The Class Clown
by Scott Ellis
Margaret Atwood isn't a scholar, as she notes in the introduction to Strange Things. At least not now; she graduated in the late 60s and never really went the career academic route. Her criticism, Survival, et al
The Jane Jacobs of the Arctic - Robin Roger speaks with Jacobs
by Robin Roger
In 1904 Hannah Breece was lowered from a steamship into a rowboat and taken though crashing waves and torrents of rain to the island of Afognak, her first post as a teacher of natives in Alaska. This arrival set the tone for her
Letters to Editor
To the Editor
May I add a necessarily long footnote to Doug Fetherling's welcome column (October) on the life and work of Edward Lacey? Among the early appearances of Lacey's work, I would like to add his work in Varsity Chapbook
On the Virtues of Analogy
Perhaps it is the same with you. A simple attraction to ecstasy. The lurching desire for communication. To see eye-to-eye and tooth-to-tooth. To merge. To mess with. At the most exuberant phase of conversation, to laugh too loud.
The End of My Critical Career
The English Canadian literary scene contains two antagonistic parties, writers and critics, locked in a vicious northern embrace. The writers would probably say that critics are the ones who are armed and dangerous in this attempted assault, because the
New-Found Language
by Richard Greene
Ihave spent much of my adult life away from Newfoundland, but my poetry draws constantly on memories of its landscapes, the cadences of its speech, and the strangeness of its history. My struggle to define a poetic voice has been, in
Part of him Always at Work
It's party time in Montreal, a hot summer Saturday night in the Plateau Mont Royal, and a goodly number of Montreal's anglo writers have gathered to give a couple of their own a decent send-off. Spirits are generally high: yes, we are
Popular Anatomy
by Keath Fraser,

584 pages $24.95 TP
ISBN: 0889841497
First Novels
First Novels - A Stay-at-home Travel Agent
by Eva Tihanyi
Every once in a while, a book comes along that astonishes the reader with the sheer enormity of its scope. Keath Fraser's Popular Anatomy (Porcupine's Quill, 584 pages, $24.95 paper) is such a book. Fraser, whose last published
by Gerald Lynch,

x, 243 pages $15.95 TC
ISBN: 0679308164
First Novels
First Novels - A Stay-at-home Travel Agent
by Eva Tihanyi
A similar example, albeit on a far smaller scale, of the part illuminating the whole is Gerald Lynch's Troutstream (Random House, 256 pages, $27.95 cloth). Lynch's literary territory is a fictional Ottawa suburb called Troutstream-an "ordinary
Something Drastic
by Colleen Curran,

216 pages $16.95 TP
ISBN: 0864921713
First Novels
First Novels - A Stay-at-home Travel Agent
by Eva Tihanyi
A completely different type of humour infuses Colleen Curran's Something Drastic (Goose Lane, 101 pages, $16.95 paper). In Lenore, her thirty-six-year-old narrator and protagonist, she has created a vehicle for the expression of her
If Home Is a Place
by K. Linda Kivi,

276 pages $16.95 TP
ISBN: 189609502X
First Novels
First Novels - A Stay-at-home Travel Agent
by Eva Tihanyi
The concept of "home", especially the refugee's struggle to come to terms with the loss of it and the immigrant's need to recreate it, is the theme of K. Linda Kivi's If Home Is a Place (Polestar, 176 pages, $16.95 paper). The novel, although
My Sister, Esther
by Martha Baillie,

pages $16.95 TP
ISBN: 0888012004
First Novels
First Novels - A Stay-at-home Travel Agent
by Eva Tihanyi
The Esther in Martha Baillie's My Sister Esther (Turnstone, 120 pages, $16.95 paper) is anything but strong and independent, and her aim is more to escape than to find "home". She is anorexic, promiscuous, and suicidal, and the novel is about
Incubus The Dark Side of the Light
by George McWhirter,

74 pages $23.95 TC
ISBN: 0887509959
Carrying Place
by Esta Spalding,

85 pages $12.95 PT
ISBN: 0887845681
The Floating Garden
by D. G. Jones,

Consortium Book Sales & Distribution
96 pages $12.95 TP
ISBN: 0889104735
Diary of a Trademark
by Ian Stephens,

L P C/InBook
pages $12 PF
ISBN: 0919754511
Wolf & Shadows Poems
by Duncan Mercredi,

81 pages $7.95 TP
ISBN: 0921827458
Dream Museum
by Liliane Welch,

118 pages $12.95 TP
ISBN: 1550390562
Timely Departures
by Randall Maggs,

64 pages $9.95 PT
ISBN: 1550811088
Macalister: or Dying in the Dark
by Douglas LePan,

144 pages $14.95 TP
ISBN: 1550821393
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews - Poetry - Living and Dying
by Uma Paramaswaran
All of us journey from the womb to the tomb; some are moved to contemplate the womb, some the tomb, and some the journey itself: from incubus to floating gardens and dream museums to shadowy carrying places and timely departures. Douglas LePan'
Caribana, the Greatest Celebration The Greatest Celebration
by Cecil Foster, Chris Schwarz,

96 pages $16.95 TP
ISBN: 0345398165
People Who Make a Difference
by Brent Ashabranner, Paul Conklin,

Dutton Children's Books
pages $15.95 TP
ISBN: 0525650091
After Geometry The Abstract Art of Claude Tousignant
by James D. Campbell,

178 pages $65 TC
ISBN: 1550222457
Nova Scotia
by Terry James,

96 pages $19.95 TC
ISBN: 1551091135
Yukon Spellbound under Northern Skies
by Theo Allofs,

129 pages $27.95 TC
ISBN: 1551091283
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews - Gift Books - Diversity of Gifts
by Diana Brebner
A few years ago, at my eldest daughter's elementary school book sale, I found a small, simple, perfect book called From Ben Loman to the Sea,published by Nimbus Publishing. It consists of a long folk poem by Lance Woolaver, with,
Beyond the Ruins
by Marco Micone, Jill MacDougall,

78 pages $10 TC
ISBN: 0920717861
Saucy Jack
by Sharon Pollock,

96 pages $10.95 PT
ISBN: 0921368410
The Arab's Mouth
by Ann-Marie MacDonald,

79 pages $10.95 TP
ISBN: 0921368526
Club Chernobyl
by Dianne Warren, Florence James,

80 pages $9.95 TP
ISBN: 1550500791
Z A Meditation on Oppression, Desire & Freedom
by Anne Szumigalski,

96 pages $9.95 TP
ISBN: 1550500805
Some Assembly Required
by Eugene Stickland,

pages $9.95 TC
ISBN: 1550500902
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews - Theatre Books
by Ann Jansen
Theatre has a notoriously short memory. That's much of its allure: no two performances are ever alike, you have to be there to catch the moment, and the final curtain call means the end of that version of the play forever. The sheer even
Too Spare, Too Fierce
by Patrick Lane,

72 pages $10.95 TP
ISBN: 1550171194
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews
by Allan Casey
After twenty-two books of poetry, numerous awards, and accolades from his fellow poets, Patrick Lane has nothing to prove to anyone, and the writing in Too Spare, Too Fierce (Harbour, 69 pages, $10.95) bears the mark
A June Night in the Late Cenozoic
by Robert Allen,

140 pages $12.95 CT
ISBN: 0889821410
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews
by Helen Hacksel
The Cenozoic spans the last 75 million years of Earth's history. A time of accelerated evolution, it has produced a multitude of plants and animals; human beings are one of its very recent creations. The post-modernist short stories
Fabrizio's Passion
by Antonio D'Alfonso,

232 pages $18 TP
ISBN: 1550710230
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews
by Helen Hacksel
Fabrizio's Passion (Guernica, 235 pages, $18 paper) is Antonio D'Alfonso's English version of his French-language novel Avril ou l'anti-passion (VLB éditeur, 1990), dealing with three generations of an Italian village, and the hunger for a new...
Tales from the Gardens & Beyond
by Hazelle Palmer,

pages $12.95 PF
ISBN: 0920813097
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews
by Lori Hahnel
Hazelle Palmer, the daughter of Caribbean immigrants, grew up in Montreal. Out of this background comes Tales from the Gardens and Beyond (Sister Vision, 143 pages, $12.95 paper), her first book of stories. This suite of connected tales is
Altered Statements
by Marion A. Farrant,

135 pages $12.95 TC
ISBN: 1551520192
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews
by Lori Hahnel
Altered Statements (Arsenal Pulp, 133 pages, $12.95 paper) is a collection of short fiction from M. A. C. Farrant, a writer in Sidney, B.C. Hers is a surreal world populated with insane, aggressive grandmas, giant, deformed babies and "
Stranger in You
by Mary Di Michele,

92 pages $12.95 TP
ISBN: 0195411587
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews
by Carmelita McGrath
There are many kinds of stranger and strangeness in Mary di Michele's Stranger in You (Oxford University Press, 92 pages, $12.95 paper). There is the strangeness encountered when we explore identity, as in "Born in August" or "Cara".
Starting from Ameliasburgh The Collected Prose of Al Purdy
by Sam Solecki, Al Purdy,

400 pages $39.95 TC
ISBN: 1550171275
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews
by John Parr
Al Purdy's collected prose, Starting from Ameliasburg (edited by Sam Solecki, Harbour, $39.95 cloth), provides a profile of the artist as a youngster, young man, and not-so-young man. Although these pieces, sixty-two in all,
The Siege A Novel
by Graham Petrie,

195 pages $29.95 TC
ISBN: 1569470766
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews
by Kathryn Woodward
In Graham Petrie's The Siege (Soho, 193 pages, $29.95), the wine "doesn't travel well...and is never exported." One wishes other regional delicacies could be so easily contained. The setting is something like the former Yugoslavia,
Constant Fire
by Melissa Hardy,

149 pages $31.95 TC
ISBN: 0887509975
Brief Reviews
Brief Reviews
by Kathryn Woodward
Melissa Hardy is the 1994 Journey Prize winner. That story, "Long Man the River", is included in this collection, Constant Fire (Oberon, 149 pages, $27.95 cloth, $13.95 paper). Constant fire was what the Cherokee "kindled" when they built a to
by Nancy Hundal, Stephen Taylor,

pages $17 TC
ISBN: 0002240122
Big Boy
by E. B. Lewis, Tololwa M. Mollel,

Houghton Mifflin Company
27 pages $14.95 TC
ISBN: 0395674034
My Homework Is in the Mail!
by Becky Citra,

80 pages $4.5 MM
ISBN: 0590244469
Wild in the City
by Jan Thornhill, Jan Thornhill,

32 pages $16.95 TC
ISBN: 0871569108
Mister Got to Go The Cat That Wouldn't Leave
by Lois Simmie, Cynthia Nugent,

32 pages $17.95 TC
ISBN: 0889951276
by Hazel Hutchins, Ruth Ohi,

32 pages $16.95 LB
ISBN: 1550373951
Sho & the Demons of the Deep
by Annouchka G. Galouchko, Annouchka G. Galouchko,

32 pages $17.95 LB
ISBN: 1550373986
Children's Books
Children`s Books - More Irreverence, Please
by Phil Hall
As I write this, my seven-year-old, Brett, is asleep at my back on the futon. For her this is a weekend night on which to visit and sleep over at her dad's. For me this is another opportunity to watch her a while as she dreams and grows, another even
At Large
At Large
by Michael Coren
December of this year marks a literary centenary of a special kind. One hundred years ago, Henry Williamson was born in London. He wrote dozens of much admired novels, including the hugely successful Tarka the Otter, an anthropomorphic
Douglas Fetherling
Douglas Fetherling - Backward Glance
by Douglas Fetherling
I didn't know until I had dinner with him recently that Greg Gatenby, the director of literary programs at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, and founder of both the International Festival of Authors and the World Poetry Festival,
Outlook - Writers on Celluloid
by Brian Bartlett
One of the most original, impressive films to reach North America from Europe this year was Il Postino (The Postman). Its story involves a shy, lovestruck postman who befriends the exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda in 1952

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