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Fred Bonnie.

Ottawa, Oberon Press, c1982.
133pp, paper, $19.95 (cloth), (paper) $9.95.
ISBN 0-88750465-5 (cloth), 0-88750-466-3 (paper).

Grades 10 and up.
Reviewed by Warner Winter.

Volume 11 Number 4.
1983 July.

Displaced Persons is a second book of short stories by Fred Bonnie, a New Englander who traces his family back to a Quebec migrant who went back to Maine a hundred years ago. It is a book full of humour, pathos, and Maritime grit. Bonnie's characters are realistic, often eccentric and often losers—at the bottom of the social scale. One is always expecting violence and sex, but instead one finds much unexpected serenity. The endings are just right, as they should be in a good short story, and the stress is on epiphany or insight.

For example, "All You Can Eat Night" depicts a man in the process of discovering that his wife and best friend (who is also his boss) are having an affair. The reader finds this out before the husband, and the story builds to the husband's realization and decision at the end.

Displaced Persons is interesting, emotionally involving, and makes a sustained claim on one's attention. What more can one ask for? It is recommended for schools in working class communities and, because of the simplicity, the beauty of the writing style, and the complete lack of pretentiousness, for creative writing classes.

Warner Winter, Emery C. I., Weston, ON.
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