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Radu, Kenneth.

Dorion (Quebec), The Muses' Co./La Compagnie des Muses, 1987. 150pp. paper. ISBN 0-919754-14-7 (cloth) $20.00. 0-919754-16-3 (paper) $9.95. Distributed by The Muses' Co./La Compagnie des Muses, 51 rue de l'Eglise, Dorion. Que. J7V 1W5. CIP

Reviewed by Katheryn Broughton

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

This superb collection of short stories covers such a wide range of theme and character that no reader should turn away disappointed. In "Moment of Impact" Henry experiences a dreadful inertia after surviving an airplane crash unscathed while all the other passengers died. "Having seen a child burn, what then?" is his query. Felice in "The Prodigy Makers" is the victim of her parents' need to produce the accomplished child, thereby depriving her of even the smallest experience of the normal teenager. She chooses a suitably grotesque form of rebellion.

A dying daughter and a seemingly dying marriage are the background for the struggle of Ben in "The Gardener," as he tries desperately to convince his wife that he shares her pain and helplessness in dealing with their child's fatal illness. Fourteen-year-old Billy In "The Yellow Dress" uses the attic and old clothes as props for the fantasy world he shapes as a refuge from the reality of being unwanted. He finds his escape route no longer works--"lt's Just an attic."

This collection is highly recommended with the caution that one story, "A Bird in the Hand," concerns the effect of incest on a woman's life and another, "Bottom's Dream," involves a gang rape. Both are sensitive explorations of the dark side of human experience but could evoke parental objection.

Katheryn Broughton, Thornhill, Ont.
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