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Choyce, Lesley.

Porters Lake (N.S.), Pottersfield Press, 1988. 76pp, paper. $4.95, ISBN 0-919001-45-9. CIP

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Lillian M. Turner

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

Choyce, the author of several books, has won awards for both poetry and fiction. His most recent work, An Avalanche of Ocean (Goose Lane Editions, 1987), was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal. A native of New Jersey with degrees from three universities. Choyce came to Canada In the late 1970ís and settled in Nova Scotia, where his daughter was born. Now a Canadian citizen, he is an English instructor at Dalhousie University, part-time farmer, editor/publisher, and writer.

This "small book with a great ambition" is based on his belief that one individual's good idea can make a difference to how the rest of us think about nuclear weapons. Reminiscent of the Halifax explosion of 1917, December Six opens dramatically with a hypothetical nuclear holocaust, portraying in horrible detail the effects of the radioactive explosion and fall-out.

Choyce suggests several strategies to foster co-operation among the superpowers in dismantling nuclear arsenals: large exchanges of Americans and Russians for two- or three-year periods; an expansion of cultural and scientific exchanges; the exchange of good teachers on both sides, to include Canadians, so that we become more understanding of each other's histories. He also points out how the dangers of some current mythology and systems of belief can be worked into the discussion of literature in the classroom. Most of all, by exhorting readers to think through the consequences of a nuclear war on their own lives, the book makes a passionate plea for the nuclear peace movement. Well bound, it should stand up to fairly heavy use.

Lillian M. Turner, Toronto, Ont.
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