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Edited by John Metcalf and Leon Rooke.
Toronto, Macmillan, 1988. 312pp. paper, $14.95, ISBN 0-7715-9385-6. CIP

Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Volume 16 Number 5
1988 September

The scrambled, multi-coloured letters on the cover boldly spelling out the title Anthology suggest the eclectic nature of this collection of Canadian writings. Here are fiction, poetry, prose poems, memoirs, a profile and a "year in review."

In a broad-based anthology of this nature, the quality of material varies widely—from excellent to waste of space. Particularly memorable among the collection is Janice Kulyk Reefer's compelling profile of expatriate Canadian author Mavis Gallant. This portrait projects the dedication with which, against all odds. Gallant has remained true to herself and her ideals in creating a body of work of stunning power and force.

The quirky title of Sinclair Ross’ perceptive memoir "Just Wind and Horses" comes from the offhand phrase with which his prickly, difficult mother dismissed his published work. Unable openly to express her pride in her son, she somehow managed, gruffly and indirectly, to glory in his accomplishments.

The uneven quality of content results in a hodgepodge of material. In an instructional context, this collection would serve only as an overview of what Canadian authors submitted for consideration at this particular time.

Joan McGrath, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, Ont.
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