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Edited by David Helwig and Maggie Helwig

Ottawa, Oberon Press, 1989. 160pp, paper, ISBN 0-88750-771-9 (cloth) $25.95, 0-88750-772-7 (paper) $12.95

Reviewed by Donna J. Adrian.

Volume 18 Number 2
1990 March

This nineteenth edition of Best Canadian Stories is a collection of ten short stories, six of which have been previously published. The stories are as varied in treatment, setting and theme as the cross-section of Canadian writers they represent. In this volume, well-known authors Alice Munro, Sharon Butala and Dave Margoshes mix with the lesser known Douglas Dinniwell and Steve Heighten.

Sharon Butalas' "The Vision of the Hohokam," a well-written, readable short story, highlights the relationship between a mother and her son. Chetan Rajani's "Souvenirs from the Other Shore" brings the sound and feel of India and the sadness of lost love home. Alice Munro's "Hold Me Fast, Don't Let Me Pass" provides a memorable glimpse of a widow's visit to Britain. She meets the people who remained indelible in her husband's wartime memory.

It would be advantageous to have more detailed profiles of the authors than the short biographical sketches provided. The strong tradition of short story writing in Canadian literature continues. 89: Best Canadian Storieshas some entertaining and powerfully writ­ten short stories. The stories with their mature topics and mature language require careful reading and thoughtful evaluation. Young people will not find the book easy to read or to relate to.

Donna J. Adrian, Laurenval School Board, Rosemere, Que.
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