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Matt Cohen.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1983.
182pp, cloth, $16.95.
ISBN 0-77Id-2179-8.

Grades 12 and up.
Reviewed by Joan VanSickle.

Volume 12 Number 2
1984 March

Cafe le Dog is the title of a short story as well as the title of this whole collection of seven stories and a novella. The author, Matt Cohen, is also responsible for the Salem Novels.

The themes of the stories are versions of the idea of love and devotion, its presence and absence, its evanescence and durability. Two of the stories explore the theme using the experiences of members of the same family as the pivots. As family members bear a resemblance to one another without being identical, so does Cohen's treatment of traditional ties in the two stories vary slightly from one to the other. Settings tend not to rely on features that are rigidly Canadian, although where necessary, the intervention of the Canadian climate aids the plot. On the whole, a cosmopolitan tone is achieved.

The book is readable, and re-readable, and therefore, belongs on the shelves of a library for sophisticated students of Canadian literature.

Joan VanSickle Heaton, Sydenham H. S., Sydenham, ON.
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