82: BEST CANADIAN STORIES
Edited by John Metcalf and Leon Rooke.
Volume 11 Number 3.
This is the twelfth volume of Best Canadian Stories, and one hopes that the series will continue to be published forever because the quality of the writing has been kept very high.
This is not to say that these are the very best Canadian stories of the year. Some people may feel that they are, and some may not. It is very difficult to assign a definite rank to a creative work because each reader responds according to individual tastes. The only thing that one can say is that the stories are very well written and very interesting.
There is a judicious mixture of well-known writers (Alice Munro, Hugh Hood) and others who are less well known (Gloria Sawai, Keath Fraser), and there is a wide variety of treatments, settings, and themes. All of this makes for a fine anthology for the general reader. However, such a book does present an acquisitions problem for the school librarian. Despite the quality of the work one wonders if, perhaps, it would be more useful to purchase the original sources in which the work appeared first (such as the New Yorker in the case of Alice Munro's story) or a book by the author in which the story appears with other stories by the same person. This is not an anthology that many secondary school students will read out of casual interest, and those in the senior years who are looking for material about and by a particular author tend to find general anthologies somewhat cumbersome.
For several reasons, then, this would not be a first choice for school libraries, but, if the library is in the market for anthologies, this series would certainly be an excellent purchase. Recommended for older students and, most strongly, for the adult, general reader.
C.H. Mountford, F. E. Madill S. S., Wingham, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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