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O'Brien, Mary, Lionel Stevenson, and Terry Dunton Stevenson.

Charlottetown, University of Prince Edward Island and Ragweed Press, c1985. unpaged, paper, $9.95, ISBN 0-920304-53-2. Distributed by Ragweed Press. CIP

Grades 7 and up
Reviewed by Pauline Henaut

Volume 14 Number 1
1986 January

The full-page black-and-white photographs and the text that make up this book are part of an exhibition called "Elders of the Island." The authors are well qualified to undertake this project. Mary O'Brien is a Visiting Professor of Research in Aging for 1983-85 at the University of Prince Edward Island. Lionel Stevenson is a professional photographer whose first book The Island* was published in 1982 by Ragweed. Terry Stevenson is an artist who has been involved in both solo and group exhibitions. The book consists of thirty excellent photographs of Islanders between the ages of sixty-three and 103. The brief text opposite each picture is taken from interviews with several of the older persons. Initially, I found it slightly disconcerting that the person photographed is not necessarily the source of the quotation, yet the authors have so skilfully paired photograph and quotation that the one illuminates the other very well.

The authors' purpose in creating this book is "to capture in photographs and words the quality of present-day contributions elders are making to the Island" and "to highlight the often overlooked fact that this time of life, like any other, is full of challenge and potential." They have succeeded very well. We meet thirty men and women who are active in their communities and in the overall life of the Island, among them a weaver, a storyteller, an inventor, a church organist, and farm men and women. It becomes obvious that these elders are in many ways typical of our lively Canadian older persons, and yet are perhaps unusually creative and resourceful because of their separation from the mainland. The use of the noun "elder" to designate this group of people connotes dignity and respect; it also reveals the affection that the authors feel for their subjects.

This sturdy, large-format paperback will be useful with units on aging and Maritime studies. It will also provide pleasure for browsers. Recommended for purchase by school and public libraries.

Pauline Henaut, Westville H.S., Westville, N.S.

*Reviewed vol. X/4 November 1982 p.268.

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