COMING ATTRACTIONS: STORIES BY SHARON BUTALA, BONNIE BURNARD & SHARON SPARLING
Volume 12 Number 1
Coming Attractions, the companion publication to Oberon's Best Canadian Stories, this year features three women short story 'writers: Sharon Butala, Sharon Sparling, and Bonnie Burnard. The work is, respectively, solid but unimaginative; imaginative but not spectacular; spectacular.
Butala's three selections, highlighting family and marital relationships, are well-crafted, highly readable, but uninspiring pieces. They are typical of technically good work but lack that extra spark that makes them memorable.
Sharon Sparling's work is casual, conversational, yet easily weighted with realism and imagination. She looks starkly at the relationships between men and women, then at the women themselves. Her stories flow gently from the page to the reader, and the reader is moved.
But it is Bonnie Burnard's four stories that make Coming Attractions memorable, and highly recommended. She looks ingeniously at the intricacies of relationships between people, husband and wife, child and school teacher, mother and daughter. Her work is refreshingly alive and vibrant. It does make you sit up and take notice. "Windows" and "Crush" are two stories in particular that show the versatility and the range of Burnard's ability. In each she looks at the world primarily, but not exclusively, through the eyes of a young woman. She remembers what it is like to care, to want and to grow. And she makes readers remember, in a way they will not soon forget.
donalee Moulton-Barrett, Halifax, NS.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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