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George Woodcock
To ronto, ECW Press, 1993. 7lpp, paper,
$14.95, ISBN 1 -55022-134-5. CI P

Grades 11 and up / Ages 16 and up

Reviewed by Joanne Peters

Volume 22 Number 3
1994 May / June

Moral Predicament: Morley Callaghan's More Joy in He ven is the most recent release in the ECW Press "Ca nadian Fiction Studies" series. Like previous volumes in the se ries,  Moral Predicament offers a concise reading of a major Canadian novel for an audience that is of ten new to critical texts: students at high schools and colleges in Canada.

Each volume contains biographical material on the author, a discussion of the work's importance to Ca nadian literature, a description of the critical reception the book received upon publication, a reading of the text, and a substantial list of works cited throughout the volume.

In his discussion of the work's critical reception, Woodcock points out an interesting dichotomy. Although there has been little critical attention paid to it, both at the time of its publication and later,  More Joy in Heaven has been popular with the general reading public, and continues to be enjoyed by an audience other than the "conscript one of stu dents who find him in their literature courses."

However, for this la ter audience, Woodcock situates the work in its time--the late 1936--and context--Canadian urban society coping with economic depression an its accompanying social burdens.  More Joy In Heaven is simple in its structure; accordingly, Woodcock focuses on issues of theme, character, symbolism and style in his critical discussions of the work.

One of the major strengths of the "Canadian Fiction Studies" series is its highly accessible presentation of literary criticism. However, the series also offers classroom teach ers a compact but solid resource for the teaching of Canadian literature, and, for this reason, teacher-librarians in senior high schools, should consider adding this and other ECW titles to their collections.

Joanne Peters is a teacher-librarian at Sisler High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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