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David Stouck

Second edition. Lincoln (NE), University of Nebraska Press, 1988. 330pp, paper, ISBN 0-8032-4119-4 (cloth) $23.95 US, 0-8032-91884 (paper) $9.95 US.
Distributed by the University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588.5020, USA.

Grades 12 and up/Ages 17 and up
Reviewed by Joanne Peters.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

Keeping in mind that this is but an introduction to Canadian literature written in English (the only French language writer included is Gabrielle Roy), most senior high school students and teachers would find this book to be an adequate, though not comprehensive, source for preliminary work on Canadian writers.

Stouck's essays are arranged chronologically, starting with Thomas Haliburton and ending with Margaret Atwood, and contain a highly readable mix of biographical information and critical comment, as well as a good sense of the historical and literary context into which the writer fits. A list of each author's major works or collections in which their work can be found is provided at the conclusion of each essay, and the conclusion gives an overview of some sources that might be pursued for further reading, as well as a discussion of the state of the publishing industry in Canada.

Stouck ought to have included a bibliography of sources he consulted in the preparation of this work; since the material, as he says, is not "wholly original," he should have provided references.

Appendix A, a "Guide to Other Writers," provides a series of paragraph-long write-ups on seventy-three Canadian writers, present and past, a number of whom Stouck admits would have been worthy of a full essay in the main body of the book had space permitted. While the appendix might be useful to an American audience as a quick reference, Canadian readers will easily find far more information on any of these authors in The Canadian Encyclopedia (Hurtig, 1988). Also provided, and rarely found anywhere in its entirety, is a list of Governor General's Literary Award winners.

Senior high school librarians and classroom teachers of English will find thatMajor Canadian Authors is worth acquiring as an additional source of information on the subject, but they should be cautioned that they also ought to have access to more comprehensive works on Canadian authors and Canadian literature, rather than rely solely on this text.

Joanne Peters, Sisler High School, Winnipeg, Man.
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