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Twigg, Alan.

Madiera Park (B.C.), Harbour Publishing, cl985. 154pp, paper, $8.95, ISBN 0-920080-88-X.CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Bohdan Kinczyk

Volume 14 Number 6
1986 November

You probably have not heard of Hubert Evans, even though two of his novels, Mist on the River (Copp Clark, 1954) and 0 Time in Your flight (Harbour 1979), are considered Canadian classics. In a writing career spanning eight decades, Evans has produced ten books of fiction, twelve plays, three volumes of poetry, a biography, over two hundred short stories, and countless articles. Only recently, though, has Evans begun to be recognized for his contributions to Canadian literature.

Primarily a writer of juvenile fiction, Evans is a genial backwoods philosopher who believes that one should "travel light, have only the essential tools, but keep them sharp and know how to use them." He sees himself not as an artist, but as a builder, a craftsman, an "Old Journeyman," who jsut wants to live simply and "do good."

Beginning with a biography of Evans, Hubert Evans: The First Ninety-Three Years surveys the writer's earliest novels and magazine serials before moving on to detailed analyses of Mist on the River and 0 Time in Your Flight. In the last chapter, Twigg interviews the aging writer. Although Evans is frail and bed-ridden and almost blind, he is so "queerly indefatigable" that you will want to hear him out, even when he quotes Pilgrim's Progress: "Come wet, come dry, I long to be gone. And however the weather be in my journey, when I come there I shall sit me and rest me and dry me."

Even if you are not impressed with Evan's writing, which often tends to be heavy on moral didacticism and light on stylistic fireworks, you will be moved by his exemplary life, which stands as his greatest statement.

Bohdan Kinczyk, Central Elgin C.I., St. Thomas, Ont.
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