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Edited by Marilyn Chapman.

Scarborough (Ont.), Prentice-Hall, c1986. 171pp, paper, $9.50, ISBN 0-13-960444-8. CIP

Grades 11-12
Reviewed by Frank Loreto

Volume 15 Number 3
1987 May

Windows and Mirrors: Volume 2, a collection of thirteen Canadian short stories edited by Marilyn Chapman, is, for the most part, a fine blend of old and new stories from some of the best Canadian writers. The collection, ranging from "One's a Heifer" by Sinclair Ross to the obscure "Antigone" by Sheila Watson, is suitable for most senior level English classes.

As the title suggests, the stories give the reader glimpses into a variety of lives and situations. In each, the central character is basically alone and, in a quiet way, the reader is allowed to share this loneliness, unable to help in any manner. Only the reader and Harold Sampson in Edna Alford's "Under the I" know that the woman he speaks to al Bingo is a ghost. The reader must experience with the main characters in Hugh Hood's "After the Sirens." As Crystal Styon waits patiently for her husband to return in Jack Hodgin's "By the River." the reader and everyone else in the story knows he will not be back. Although the narrator in Alice Munro's "Walker Brothers' Cowby" is unable to explain her father's reaction following a visit to a former girlfriend, the reader can share his sadness.

Each of the stories lends itself to further discussion and can be the basis of independent study. The teaching potential of this collection is endless, either as core material or as secondary reading. The book features biographical and critical notes on each of the authors. It comes with a teacher's guide, not seen by this reviewer. Overall, if one can ignore the American spelling (as so many seem to do these days) Windows and Mirrors: Volume 2 is highly recommended as a relatively low cost, well-bound, adaptable collection of Canadian short stories.

Frank Loreto, St. Thomas Aquinas H.S., Bramlea, Ont.
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