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Gabrielle Roy.

Toronto, McClellandy andStewart, c1982.
222pp, cloth, $16.95.
ISBN 0-7710-7828-5.

Grades 11 and up.
Reviewed by Linda May Bell.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

Fragile Lights of Earth is a collection of articles, stones, and essays written by Quebec's Gabrielle Roy over a period of thirty years. Although some were never intended for publication and some already appeared in magazines, they are an interesting addition to the body of work of a popular and talented French-Canadian author.

The first series of articles appeared in the Bulletin des agriculteurs in the 1940s, and they describe the writer's investigative journalistic forays into the homes of families in immigrant groups and religious sects. She provides realistic insight into their lifestyle and uses personal anecdotes to sketch memorable portraits of interesting Canadians. The groups presented include the Hutterites, the Doukhobors, the Mennonites, the Jews, the Sudetan Germans, the Ukrainians, and the fishermen of the Gaspé district.

The short story "memories" bring insight into the development of Roy as an individual and as an artist. "Thematically grouped, they span the observations of a lifetime—from childhood reminiscence, to a delightfully humorous account of being fêted in Paris, to an eloquent speech in which she reports on the fate of the people she created in The Tin Flute.

This collection spotlights Roy as an accomplished and versatile writer and reporter. She handles a variety of genres well, and therefore this collection would be interesting for the study of style. It would be applicable to students of journalism, Canadian literature, and the short story. It could also be a resource book for projects based on studies in the man in society, world religions, and family studies courses where they investigate the alternate lifestyles and religious practices of unique groups in Canada. The student of French might be interested in the stories of Quebec and France, and a senior English student could discuss the writer's styles in novels and this collection. They might also wish to do a character study follow-up since many classes already study The Tin Flute.

Gabrielle Roy has been awarded the Governor-General's award three times and has received numerous other literary awards from French and Canadian sources. The translator won a Canada Council prize for his craftsmanship.

This would be a very useful support material as both a primary source and secondary research collection and for comparison studies. It would support several curricula in the secondary school.

Linda May Bell, Wellington County Board of Education, Guelph, ON.
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