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Compiled by Wayne Tefs
Winnipeg, Turnstone Press, 1990. 279pp, paper, $6.95, ISBN 0-88801-145-8. CIP

Grades 10 and up/Ages 15 and up

Reviewed by Katheryn Broughton

Volume 18 Number 5
1990 September

The editor's aim was "to bring together some of the most interesting stories written by Manitobans in the last decade or so" and to maintain several balances: "of freshness with familiarity, of experiment with convention, of lightness with seriousness." In these aims he succeeded admirably. Included are superb stories by Margaret Laurence and Gabrielle Roy, the "grandes dames" of Manitoba writers. Familiar later names include Valgardson, Kroetch, Shields, Arnason and Birdsell. Then, there are newer voices, writers who are just beginning to be published.

There is satisfying diversity in topic, style and length. For example, Ed Kleiman's hilarious story "The Bicyclist" is about Morris, who is content to be a CPR sweeper all his life; however, his wife's talent for turning cajoled funds into profit leaves the family better off than the railway lower management. This story contrasts with Don Bailey's "Ceremony of the Child," the musings of a grandfather about to participate in an unconventional baptism.

David Arnason's "Alive in the Cold Atlantic" is a long piece concerning a couple travelling in Portugal. The atmosphere enveloping the wife's restless search for identity and meaning is beautifully evoked. In contrast, Sheldon Oberman in "Between Here and There" (in the space of two and a half pages) successfully depicts the plight of an old woman suffering from confusion on the Supercontinental. "Which way is home?" she asks. Her waiter is highly amused until he reflects on his own life. "Who am I and where am I going?" is his own predicament.

This collection is recommended for high school and adult short story collections.

Katheryn Broughton, Thornhill, Ont.

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