Book Reviews in September 2002 Issue

Note from Editor
Editor's Note
by Olga Stein
In reviewing Jacques Derridas The Work of Mourning (BiC Aug. 02), Stan Persky relates a central concern of the book: “. . . if a friend dies and you’re called upon to say something at the funeral or to write an obituary, how do you deal with the difficulty of speaking in the midst of grief? ...

The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto
by Mario Vargas Llosa

259 pages $18.99 paper
ISBN: 0140283595
In Praise of the Stepmother
by Mario Vargas Llosa

Picador USA
149 pages $18.99 paper
ISBN: 0312421303
Book Review
Probing and Prodding Eroticism
by Michael Greenstein
Love triangles are rarely symmetrical, and the one at the centre of Mario Vargas Llosa’s In Praise of the Stepmother and its sequel, The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto, is no exception.
Just Married: Gay Marriage and the Expansion of Human Rights
by Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell

Doubleday Canada
280 pages $34.95 cloth
ISBN: 0385658958
Book Review
Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage in Canada
by Joy Parks
On the first Sunday of December 2000, Rev. Brent Hawkes announced to his congregation at Toronto’s Metropolitan Community Church that he would begin conducting legal same-sex marriages early the following year.
Poems About Holy Women Some Bones and a Story
by Alice Major

Wolsak and Wynn
70 pages $14 paper
ISBN: 0919897746
Book Review
Poems About Holy Women
by K.D. Miller
Some Bones and a Story is Alice Major’s sixth collection of poems. It consists of sixteen first-person narratives delivered by saints, nuns, Blesseds, and a token apostle. (A Blessed, as Major explains in her Afterword, is someone who enjoys “just-south-of-sainthood status.”)
Dove Legend
by Richard Outram

PorcupineÆs Quill
173 pages $14.95 paper
ISBN: 0889842213
Book Review
Poems for the Soul Reborn into an Age of "Stringent Myths"
by Robert Moore
A septuagenarian who has cultivated a modest but respectable place at the margins of general recognition for thirty-five years, Richard Outram has been vigorously championed of late by writers like Alberto Manguel, who has called him “one of the finest poets in the English language,” and more recently, Peter Sanger, who just brought out, in limited edition, In Her kindled shadow
A Study of The New Age Canadian Odyssey. A Reading of Hugh HoodÆs The New Age/nouveau siecle
by W.J. Keith

McGill-QueenÆs University Press
212 pages $27.5 paper
ISBN: 0773523898
Book Review
A Study of The New Age
by Dennis Duffy
Amonograph on a work widely acknowledged as a masterpiece figures in many an academic’s cursus. Keith’s is not quite that. Canadian Odyssey deals instead with Hugh Hood’s twelve-volume fiction, The New Age, whose claim to grandeur seems a truth far from universally acknowledged.
Twisted Imaginings from Stephen King EverythingÆs Eventual: 14 Dark Tales
by Stephen King

665 pages $42.5 cloth
ISBN: 0743235185
Book Review
Twisted Imaginings from Stephen King
by Matt Sturrock
When I first discovered Stephen King as a kid in 1988, he had three audiences. There were the horror junkies whose sallow faces were mainly consigned to pulp fiction conventions and hobby-shop cabals; there were the more upstanding types who made guilty forays into his oeuvre while on vacation; and there were the legions of adolescents (male mostly) graduating from Silver Surfer and Incredible Hulk comic books
by Sue Goyette

Harper Flamingo Canada
289 pages $32 hard cover
ISBN: 0002005069
Book Review
Suffering Beautifully
by Maureen Lennon
In her debut novel, Lures, poet Sue Goyette demonstrates that she possesses, in spades, perhaps the single most important ability necessary for the creation of good fiction—a facility for creating characters who linger in the memories of readers.
The Music of What Happens
by Annie Coyle Martin

McGilligan Books
335 pages $24.95 paper
ISBN: 1894692020
Book Review
Irish Historical not on the level of O'Neill
by Jerry White
’ll admit that I was originally attracted to Annie Coyle Martin’s debut novel The Music of What Happens for reasons that are not entirely fair to her or her book. I had just finished reading Jamie O’Neill’s At Swim Two Boys and found it zesty and full of life and literary sophistication; a little masterpiece.
Swan River: Memoir of a Family Mystery
by David Reynolds

Greystone Books
356 pages $24.95 paper
ISBN: 1550549359
Book Review
Unearthing an Ancestor
by Derek Lundy
t is surprising how quickly we disappear from sight and sound after we die. Of course, we expect that to happen eventually. Within a hundred years, we are certainly in the historian’s bailiwick; later the archaeologist sifts through bones and post-holes to make a few bare inferences.
Imperial Legend: The Disappearance of Tsar AlexanderI
by Alexis S. Troubetzkoy

Thomas Allen Publishers
300 pages $34.95 cloth
ISBN: 0919028489
Book Review
A Tsar Goes Missing
by Matt Sturrock
Few modern histories are rife with more mystery and tragedy than that of Russia. The country is fertile ground for intrigue and upheaval: traditionally, its leaders have been intractable, unstable, one way or another defective;
Dispatches from a Sporting Life
by Mordecai Richler

Knopf Canada
320 pages $34.95 cloth
ISBN: 0676974775
The Acrobats
by Mordecai Richler

New Canadian Library
232 pages $9.95 paper
ISBN: 0771034784
Book Review
Richlerian Tales: The First Book and the Last
by John Ayre
In the recent televised tribute to Mordecai Richler, his New York editor and long-time friend Robert Gottlieb confessed that among his authors, Richler was unusual.
Madness: A Brief History
by Roy Porter

Oxford University Press
241 pages $29.95 cloth
ISBN: 0192802666
Book Review
The Mad and Those who Treat Them
by Gordon Phinn
The mad, like the poor and the appallingly rich, have always been with us. For despite the optimistic jingles of those enamoured of progress, societies of all kinds continue to accumulate all manner of casualties, citizens unkempt and curiously off-kilter.
The Rescue of Jerusalem:The Alliance Between Hebrews and Africans in 701 BC
by Henry T. Aubin

Doubleday Canada
421 pages $39.95 cloth
ISBN: 0385659121
Varieties of Religion Today:William James Revisited
by Charles Taylor

Harvard University Press
127 pages $19.95 paper
ISBN: 0674007603
Book Review
Against the Grain of Established Beliefs
by T. F. Rigelhof
Choosing to live and work in Montreal might have something to do with Fairmount bagels or Pâtisserie de Gascogne or the Montreal Symphony Orchestra or any number of other peculiar and personal preferences but what really holds many of us
Explaining Centuries-Old Hatred ConstantineÆs Sword: The Church and the Jews
by James Carroll

Mariner Books
756 pages $25.95 paper
ISBN: 0618219080
Book Review
Explaining Centuries-Old Hatred
by Nicholas Maes
One has to be half mad to attempt a history of the Jews and the Catholic Church. The subject requires not only a familiarity with a vast range of material, both religious and historical, but a capacity to interpret events from multiple perspectives.
Stupid White Men and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!
by Michael Moore

277 pages $37.95 cloth
ISBN: 0060392452
Book Review
An American Gadfly
by Pat Barclay
Meet, if you haven’t already, one of America’s best-known professional gadflies, Michael Moore. Moore’s been mad as hell and publicly refusing to take it anymore ever since he first leveled a movie camera at the chairman of General Motors, Roger Smith.
Life of Pi
by Yann Martel

Knopf Canada
352 pages $32.95 cloth
ISBN: 0676973760
Book Review
Lessons in Faith and Zoology
by Irene DSouza
Forging an individual writing style entails risks for all authors, especially sensitive writers whose second book does not fare well: too over the top with magic realism and you are trespassing on South American territory;
Tracing Iris
by Genni Gunn

Raincoast Books
230 pages $21.95 paper
ISBN: 1551924862
Book Review
Patterns of Lossùof People and Civilizations
by Ada Donati
In her latest novel, Tracing Iris (Raincoast Books, 2001) which follows Thrice upon a time (Quarry Press), On the Road, (Oberon Press) and Mating in Captivity (Quarry Press), Genni Gunn confirms her special skill for weaving complex narrative patterns.
CTV, The Network That Means Business
by Michael Nolan

The University of Alberta Press
405 pages $34.95 paper
ISBN: 0888643853
Book Review
Birth of a Network
by Stephen Knight
Much like Canada’s history, the history of the CTV television network is filled with a few swashbuckling entrepreneurs, lots of politics and plenty of bureaucratic machinations.
Mount Appetite
by Bill Gaston

221 pages $19.95 paper
ISBN: 155192451X
A Reckless Moon and Other Stories
by Dianne Warren

238 pages $19.95 paper
ISBN: 1551924552
Book Review
The Lonely and Rebellious in Two Collections
by Heather Birrell
It always seems a shame that there is such a strong tendency in Canada to divide our short fiction into camps: realistic vs surrealistic, psychological vs symbolic, rural vs urban, traditional vs cutting edge.
A Multitude of Sins
by Richard Ford

Knopf Canada
278 pages $34.95 hardcover
ISBN: 0676974147
Book Review
Affairs Without Heart
by Cindy MacKenzie
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford has written a collection of ten short stories organized on the theme of adulterous love that does not moralize about the “sin” of infidelity even though it tells the story of such affairs over and over. The “sin” is found in the debasement of the spirit of love.
The Falling Woman
by Shaena Lambert

Vintage Canada
205 pages $22.95 paper
ISBN: 0679311491
Book Review
Metamorphoses of Desire
by Malca Litovitz
This first collection of ten short stories by a Vancouver poet form a series of snapshots of women poised midlife, when we assess our lives. The characters dive into discoveries, dreams, fears, forbidden sexual encounters, and protests.
Brass Buttons and Silver Horseshoes
by Linda Granfield

McClelland and Stewart
140 pages $22.95 paper
ISBN: 0771035357
From Eve to Dawn, vol. 1, A History of Women
by Marilyn French

McArthur and Company
321 pages $34.95 cloth
ISBN: 1552782689
Book Review
Canadian 20th Century Women Well Depicted
by Clara Thomas
Marilyn French is a well-known feminist scholar, teacher and novelist. A History of Women, her work-in-progress, is obviously designed to be a comprehensive and authoritative work, a bedrock standby for all enquiring women and especially for those who teach and take Women’s Studies courses. Accordingly, this first volume, From Eve to Dawn, bears a heavy weight of expectation.
A Social History of the Cloister: Daily Life in the Teaching Monasteries of the Old RTgime
by Elizabeth Rapley

McGill-QueenÆs University Press
376 pages $49.95 cloth
ISBN: 0773522220
Alone in Silence: European Women in the Canadian North Before 1940
by Barbara E. Kelcey

McGill-QueenÆs University Press
227 pages $27.95 paper
ISBN: 0773522921
Who Cares? WomenÆs Work, Childcare, and Welfare State Redesign
by Jane Jenson and Mariette Sineau, with Franca Bimbi, Anne-Marie Daune-Richard, Vincent Della Sala, Rianne Mahon, BTrFngFre Marques-Pereira, Olivier Paye, George Ross

University of Toronto Press
289 pages $55 cloth
ISBN: 0802046932
Getting By in Hard Times: Gendered Labour at Home and on the Job
by Meg Luxton and June Corman

University of Toronto Press
326 pages $27.95 paper
ISBN: 0802071473
Book Review
What's New and Different Lives of Women Then and Now
by Naomi Black
These four books are all concerned with women and—not the same—all of them reflect the impact of feminism. Barbara Kelcey insists she is not a feminist, but her Alone in Silence is nevertheless part of the feminist attempt to retrieve the missing lives of the female half of the human race.
Judging Bertha Wilson:Law as Large as Life The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History
by Ellen Anderson

University of Toronto Press
472 pages $50 cloth
ISBN: 0802036481
Book Review
First Woman on Canada's Supreme Court
by John Pepall
In 1976 Bertha Wilson became the first woman on a provincial court of appeal, Ontario’s, and in 1982 the first woman on the Supreme Court of Canada. The coming of the Charter has drawn public attention to the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Dead Girls: Lament for those Lost and Forgotten Interview with Nancy Lee
Vancouver writer Nancy Lee’s debut story collection, Dead Girls, appeared in April to rave reviews.Unusually prescient in its subject matter, the girls in Lee’s title story and in several others had been inspired by the dozens of women who’ve vanished from Vancouver’s Skid Row,
PIùSumming Up Meaning from the Irrational Interview with Yann Martel
Interview with Yann Martel. My introduction to Yann Martel came ten years ago. I went to see him read a novella-length story called “The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios” which concerned the friendship of two college-aged men, one dying of AIDS.
Letters to Editor
Letters to the Editor
Dear Editor, Those who contend that poetry is a moribund art form are not rebuffed by the popular success of Christian Bök’s Eunoia. For what they are referring to more specifically is lyric poetry, “a verbal device that will preserve and reproduce any feeling or set of feelings indefinitely,” in Philip Larkin’s pithy definition.
The three rules you should observe when scouting for books, I was told a few years ago by a dealer much younger than myself but vastly more experienced; the three rules, he told this then novice scout who was attracted to the field after reading a book called How To Be A Book Scout (attracted to the idea that a scout doesn’t have the overhead or responsibilities of running a shop;
Wilted Laurels (or, A Sad Ballade to the Poets Inglorious)
by David Solway
Apart from yesterday’s newspaper, there are two things that seem to age overnight: a learned footnote and a bad poem. We need not worry about the former since none have been inserted here. But of the latter it may even be said that a bad poem is born old and dies young, sapless and etiolated.
My Life with Northrop Frye: A Personal Take on the Nationalist Debate in Canlit History
by Susan Glickman
Anyone involved with Canadian literature is bound to find herself wondering—during those rare moments she isn’t contemplating the returns policy of the publishing industry—if our traditional absorption with nationalism is still relevant in the new global culture of migrancy.
Timothy Findley (1930-2002)
by David Gardner
Tiff wrote: “Remembrance is more than honouring the dead. Remembrance is joining them—being with them in memory. Memory is survival.” [Inside Memory p7]
Female and Modernist Poems and Stories of Louise M. Bowman
by Michelle Ariss
I t is thanks to writers like Rosemary Sullivan and Anne Cimon and no thanks at all to the modernist poet E.J. Pratt that the work of Louise Morey Bowman has not been entirely lost to Canadian literature.
Dispatch from a Conference Abroad: Globalization and the Short Story
by Cyril Dabydeen
It was more than serendipity that brought me to the 7th International Conference on the Short Story in English in New Orleans, Louisiana, in July; and the Conference’s theme of globalization forced me to confront—or confirm—my own assumptions about the genre.
Watchdog and Rooster Surveying the henhouse with profound vigilance, taut on his tether, alert in sleet as well as heatstroke weather, crouched, eye ajar, the farmer's hound. The rooster, however, accustomed to the chuckling palaver of his cackleophilous concubines, disliked the stolid silence of the dog who hunched there like a stinkpot on a log and only uttered small, obsequious whines about his master's boots at supper-time. Let us see (the rooster mused) if this dull mutt,
Tempting Faith DiNapoli
by by Lisa Gabriele

Doubleday Canada
291 pages $29.95 cloth
ISBN: 0385658214
Porcupines and China Dolls
by Robert Arthur Alexie

286 pages $32.95 cloth
ISBN: 0773733051
It is highly questionable whether Recurring Fictions
by Wendy McGrath

University of Alberta Press
158 pages $16.95 cloth
ISBN: 0888643896
Back Flip
by Anne Denoon

Porcupine's Quill
323 pages $24.95 cloth
ISBN: 0889842388
The jacket copy for Icarus
by Louise Young

Thomas Allen Publishers
223 pages $29.95 cloth
ISBN: 0919028497
First Novels
First Novels
by W.P Kinsella
Back Flip, by Anne Denoon (Porcupine’s Quill, $24.95, 323pages, ISBN: 0889842388), follows an Altmanesque cast of characters in the Toronto art scene over several months in 1967.
Parvana's Journey by Deborah Ellis
Groundwood Books
200 pages $7.95 paper
ISBN: 0888995199
Children's Books
Children's Books
by Deborah Wandal
This fall’s line up of books for children and young adults is simply stunning as you’ll see from this very first offering of the season. There’s much more to come in upcoming issues of Books in Canada—a round-up of new and exciting international fantasy fiction—everything from Carnegie award-winner Terry Pratchett’s The Amazing Maurice
The Blue Roan Child
by Jamieson Findlay

256 pages $27.95 cloth
ISBN: 0385658338
Children's Books
Children's Books
by Karen Krossing
First published in 1987, Camel Bells is an extraordinary look at pre-Taliban Afghanistan as seen through the eyes of 12-year-old Hajdar. It is a novel that moves back and forth in time, chronicling the Marxist coup of 1979 and the ensuing Soviet invasionùthe beginning of the nearly ten-year struggle between Russia and the mujahadeen freedom fighters that ended with the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1988/1989 and that lead, ultimately, to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in 1996.
by Arthur Slade

144 pages $15.99 paper
ISBN: 0006391702
Children's Books
Children's Books
by Gillian Chan
First published in 1987, Camel Bells is an extraordinary look at pre-Taliban Afghanistan as seen through the eyes of 12-year-old Hajdar. It is a novel that moves back and forth in time, chronicling the Marxist coup of 1979 and the ensuing Soviet invasionùthe beginning of the nearly ten-year struggle between Russia and the mujahadeen freedom fighters that ended with the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1988/1989 and that lead, ultimately, to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in 1996.
A Stone in My Hand
by Cathryn Clinton

Candlewick Press
208 pages $21.99 cloth
ISBN: 0763613886
The Breadwinner
by Deborah Ellis Read by Rita Wolf with an afterward by the author

Listening Library
cassettes pages $28
ISBN: 0807209732
Camel Bells
by Janne Carlsson

Groundwood Books
96 pages $8.95 paper
ISBN: 0888990804
Second Story Press
75 pages $10.95 paper
ISBN: 1896764444
Children's Books
Children's Books
by Jeffrey Canton
First published in 1987, Camel Bells is an extraordinary look at pre-Taliban Afghanistan as seen through the eyes of 12-year-old Hajdar. It is a novel that moves back and forth in time, chronicling the Marxist coup of 1979 and the ensuing Soviet invasionùthe beginning of the nearly ten-year struggle between Russia and the mujahadeen freedom fighters that ended with the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1988/1989 and that lead, ultimately, to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in 1996.
Amazon.ca/Books in Canada Bestsellers Lists
Kathy Reichs, Grave Secrets (Scribner, hardcover), Tom Clancy, Red Rabbit (Putnam, hardcover), Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones (Little, Brown, hardcover),Robert Jordan, Crossroads of Twilight (Tor, ardcover)

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