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Edited by Lorris Elliott. Toronto, Williams-Wallace, cl 985. I88pp, paper, ISBN 0-88795-048-5 (cloth) S19.95, 0-88795-038-8 (paper) $9.95. CIP

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Leslie McGrath

Volume 14 Number 6
1986 November

Other Voices is a collection of writings by English-speaking Blacks in Canada. Edited by Lorris Elliott, author of the novel Coming For to Carry.* the anthology includes poetry, plays, and short stories. The authors, writing from diverse economic and geographic backgrounds, range from recent immigrants to descendants of long-established Canadian citizens. The resulting work, predictably, is rich, varied, and exciting.

Some of the authors are already well known, including Dionnc Brand and Fred Ward. Lorris himself contributes "The Trial of Marie-Joseph Angelique, Negress and Slave," an excerpt from the historical drama Who All Was There, and How Now Black Man, Part 4. Others are new and frequently powerful voices. One is Lillian Alien, who writes of the woman lured by visions of a better life in "I Fight Back":

Here I Am in Canada
Bringing Up Someone Else's Child
While Someone Else and Me in Absentee
Bring Up My Own

Another is Marlene Philip, with her poem, "Salmon Courage," about a daughter whose success is endlessly paraded by her father: "She a millsioned lawyer, his milestone/to where he hadn't been." The pictures are frequently bleak, but the overall tone of the work is both positive and inspiring.

This anthology of Black literature is the first of its kind in Canada. Well organized, with biographical notes on the authors. Other Voices is also sturdily bound and has an attractive cover. Highly recommended for senior school and adult library collections.

Leslie McGrath, Toronto, P.L., Toronto, Ont.

*Reviewed vol. XI/3 May 1983 p.106.

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