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Edited by Fred Cogswell.

Charlottetown, Ragweed Press, c1984
229pp, paper, $12.95.
ISBN 0-920304-23-0.

Grades 10 and up.

Reviewed by Clare A. Darby.

Volume 12 Number 6
1984 November

The problem with The Atlantic Anthology is that it is not Atlantic enough. Fred Cogswell (poet, University of New Brunswick professor, editor) has anthologized twenty-seven Atlantic authors and, like a modern-day Noah, has included both male and female, old and new, although not English and French. Thomas Haliburton is here. So is Lucy Maud Montgomery. There is Thomas Raddall and Alden Nowlan. There is even Lesley Choyce and Ann Copeland, And, of course, there is Ernest Buckler. As Professor Cogswell points out in his three-page introduction, there are examples of romance, realism, naturalism, fantasy, and the interior monologue. What there are not enough examples of is authentic Atlantic stories; this editor, like many others, has fallen into the trap of excluding the regional at the expense of the universal. These two, all agree, are not mutually exclusive, but I cannot agree with his conclusion to a one-page discussion of "the matter of regionalism" when he writes: "I am convinced that every story in this collection is a tribute to this region. . . , and that every story, whether it is regional or not, represents a facet of life that is universal." All of the stories are tributes to their authors. The ones that are tributes to this region include Will R. Bird's "Sunrise For Peter," David Adams Richards's "Ramsey Taylor," Raymond Fraser's "They Come Here to Die," Norman Duncan's "The Strength of Men," Lesley Choyce's "It All Comes Back Now," Sheldon Currie's "Fire" and Alden Nowlan's "The Glass Roses." These are Atlantic stories, and, yes, they present "facets of life which are universal." Most of the other stories are universal but present little or nothing of Atlantic life. That, of course, is not to say that they are poorly crafted. Indeed, H.R. Percy's "The Captain's Lady," J J. Stein-feld's "The Suicide Inspector," and Ann Copeland's "My Father's House" are excellent examples of the short story form.

The anthology includes a brief biography of each author, mentioning awards and publications. The single-page "In the Classroom" hint "for teaching purposes" is of no consequence. Schools wishing to use it as a text would need it rebound in hard cover.

This collection of short stories is recommended for schools with Canadian literature and Canadian studies courses.

Clare A. Darby, Three Oaks S. H. S., Summerside, PEI.
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