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Salloum, Shay.

Madeira Park (B.C.), Harbour Publishing, 1987, 192pp, paper, $9.95, ISBN 0-920080-42-1. CIP

Grades 12 and up.
Reviewed by Jean Farquharson

Volume 15 Number 5
1987 September

Vancouver Days was published to coincide with the International Lowry Symposium which took place in May, 1987, and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publishing of Under the Volcano, Lowry's most famous novel. Sheryl Salloum has gathered information about his life in the Vancouver area and focuses on the part of his life that was happiest and most productive.

Lowry, born of wealthy but strict parents, was a misfit in the family. His low self-esteem resulted in severe alcoholism, causing him many problems throughout his turbulent life and ultimately causing his death at age 48. After his first marriage failed in Mexico, Lowry ended up in the Vancouver area with Margerie Bonner, herself a writer, who became his second wife and a tremendous support in his personal life and career. Their best times were spent in a squatter's shack in Dollarton, B.C., on the edge of Burrard Inlet near Vancouver. Sheryl Salloum has gathered reminiscences from sixteen people to illustrate Lowry's personality, way of life, and ideas. Although not a Canadian citizen, Lowry was given posthumous recognition in the Governor General's award for fiction in 1961, and he has been given world-wide recognition as an author.

This book is useful in setting the background of Vancouver in the 40's, with the people and places that strongly influenced Lowry's life and works. Photographs and maps abound, and quotations from many sources enlighten the reader about his personality and lifestyle. A bibliography, extensive notes, and an index are included.

This book will assist readers in understanding Lowry's character, his view of the world and his influences, and will give further insight into his writings.

Jean Farquharson, Brantford C.I. & V.S., Brantford, Ont.
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