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Moose Jaw, Coteau Books, c1984.428pp, paper, $4.95, ISBN 0-919926-38-X. Distributed by Thunder Creek Publishing Cooperative. CIP

Reviewed by Walter Kalyn

Volume 13 Number 3
1985 May

More Saskatchewan Gold appears to be a sequel to Saskatchewan Gold* which I also reviewed. The comments I made about that publication all apply to this one as well, but, for the sake of those who do not file back issues, I will repeat myself. Each of the stories in this anthology is contributed by a Saskatchewan writer. No criteria for inclusion is given, I presume it is the editor's choice. There is a wide diversity in subject matter, but the editor has attempted to group the stories into three lots. The first is the "Children's Bin," stories that deal with young people. "Moon Watchers" contains stories dealing with women, and "Best Kept Secrets," stories dealing with personal problems. The quality of the writing varies, but then I suppose whether one likes the stories or not is a matter of personal taste.

As in the first anthology, most of these stories seem to deal with people who are having drinking, psychological, sexual, or social problems. I found the stories in general to be depressing. Doesn't anyone in Saskatchewan write about normal people who lead normal lives? Are people without weird experiences and problems not worth writing about? This collection also shows a distinct lack of what I would call humorous stories, and I do know that Saskatchewan people do have a sense of humour.

The majority of the stories have adult themes. Consequently, this anthology will be mostly of interest to adults. At the outset I thought the "Children's Bin" section would be useful in a school, but I found most of the stories here to be unhappy recollections of childhood. There is nothing wrong with this focus, but aren't there some stories of the opposite kind? I seriously doubt that any of them would be of interest to students.

Recommended to teachers of Canadian literature. You might find things you can use in this anthology. The liberal use of four-letter words and strong sexual themes in many of the stories does not make this a suitable selection for most school libraries.

Walter Kalyn, Thom C.I., Regina, Sask.

*Reviewed vol. XI/3 May 1983 p. 121.

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