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Edited by William Toye.

Toronto, Oxford University Press, c1983.
843pp, cloth, $45.00.
ISBN 0-91-540283-9 .

Grades 9 and up.

Reviewed by Adèle Ashby.

Volume 12 Number 6
1984 November

In 1967, Norah Story's Oxford Companion to Canadian History and Literature, a landmark in the history of Canadian writing, appeared. It was followed in 1973 by a Supplement. Now we have the Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, which is neither a revision nor a second edition of the previous volumes. Limited to Canadian literature (although there is commentary on historical writing), it is the culmination of a three-year project, in which editor William Toye, whose commitment to Canadian literature is long-standing, organized some 192 scholars. They produced some 750 entries, ranging from "Acadian Literature" to "Dale Zieroth." There is greater coverage of ethnic writing, plus expanded survey articles, such as "Novels in French," and some new categories, such as children's literature. As well as overviews of genres, and biographical/critical entries on writers, there are notes on literary magazines, book publishers, and famous titles. There are, for example, separate articles on Margaret Laurence and The Stone Angel.

One can always quibble. Why, for example, an entry on Mazo de la Roche's Jalna novels, but not one on any of Mordecai Richler's titles, not even Duddy? Nonetheless, the new Companion is an impressive achievement; Canadian literature has reached a level where it merits its own addition to the long row of Oxford Companions. This volume, combined with the Literary History of Canada, is the basis for any collection on Canadian writing. For every high school, public, and academic library.

Adele Ashby, Toronto, ON.
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