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Edited by John Metcalf.

Toronto, Methuen, c1982.
261pp, paper, $18.95 (cloth), $11.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-458-95520-5 (cloth), 0-485-95470-5 (paper).

Reviewed by Joan Kerrigan.

Volume 11 Number 2.
1983 March.

John Metcalf has thought together a group of Canadian authors who would be difficult to best in the craft of the short story. Readers will enjoy a variety of styles and subjects by such writers as Clark Blaise, Mavis Gallant, Hugh Hood, Norman Levine, John Metcalf, Alice Munroe, and Leon Rooke. This roster provides a variety of subjects and styles for the reader. Some may appreciate the more detached third-person style of Mavis Gallant or Hugh Hood, whereas others will enjoy the involved, first-person technique of Clark Blaise and Norman Levine.

A useful and interesting aspect of this collection is the addition of the authors' own comments on the craft of writing short stories. The design of the book is attractive, the cover is eye-catching, and Sam Tata's photographs are clear and interesting, not like the murky reproductions often found in anthologies.

The reviewer cannot resist commenting on Barry Cameron's introduction. Some sentences must be read three times, and even then the meaning is confused by the awkwardness of construction.

         These stories are images or metaphors of realities,
         but they are also realities in themselves; and, as
         in poetry, any descriptions of the fictional external
         reality in a story that we receive work less as precise,
         detailed descriptions of particular objects than correlatively
         as metaphors-sometimes evocatively, more often subtlety
         —conveying the attitudes and feelings of a perceiving
         consciousness, usually the central character.

But the story is the main focus in the collection, and this book would be an excellent choice for a community college or university course in Canadian literature.

Joan Kerrigan, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, ON.
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