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George McWhirter.

Ottawa, Oberon Press, c1982.
140pp, paper, $17.95 (cloth), (paper) $8.95.
ISBN 0-88750-417-5 (cloth), 0-88750-418-3 (paper).

Grades 12 and up.
Reviewed by C. H. Mountford.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

Six of these stories are set in Ireland, three are set in British Columbia and one in Spain. These geographical facts are important because of the way in which the writer superimposes his interior geography over the actual settings. There is a freshness to McWhirter's descriptions that makes for invigorating reading. Even though he was born in Ireland, he seems to be able to examine and describe other areas without allowing them to change his sensibility. This is done so subtly by this writer that the reality of his worlds is not questioned by the reader.

It is the interior geography that is the important factor here. The Ireland described is not the Ireland of James Joyce; the Spain is not the Spain of Hemingway. All are the worlds of George McWhirter.

His language is the English of ordinary people artfully contrived for extraordinary impact. McWhirter's writing achieves its impact by the accretion of detail from everyday life combined with lyric description of landscape.

It is probably too soon to acclaim this writer as a composer of masterworks but there is every sign that his work is indeed important.

Unreservedly recommended for purchase for the senior grades of secondary school and, of course, for adult reading.

C. H. Mountford, F. E. Madill S. S., Wingham, ON.
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