Best Canadian Stories 00


160 pages
ISBN 0-7780-1149-6
DDC C813'.01





Edited by Selected by Douglas Glover
Reviewed by Thomas M.F. Gerry

Thomas M.F. Gerry is a professor of English at Laurentian University and
the editor of Arachne, Laurentian University’s bilingual
interdisciplinary journal of language and literature.


The authors featured in Best Canadian Stories 00 range from Canada’s
premier short-story writer, Alice Munro, through five established
fiction and drama writers, to a Vancouver sex worker, and on down to an
English professor.

First published in The New Yorker, and also in her latest story
collection, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage,
Munro’s “The Bear Came Over the Mountain” may be her personal
best. Sentence by sentence, she gives her readers gem-like phrases—an
Icelandic character is described as “a powerful woman with a froth of
white hair and indignant far-left politics.” Then there are Munro’s
consummate skills with plot, her brilliant narrative transitions in time
and perspective, and the affirming power of her story’s intellectual
and moral dimensions as a whole.

Michelle Berry’s “Mary-Lou’s Getting Married” shares Munro’s
delight in telling details and eccentric characters; Percy Q could be a
version of Bobby Sherriff from Lives of Girls and Women. Stephen
Guppy’s combination of humor and cosmic sadness in “The Light of
Distant Planets” makes me want to read more of his work. Craig
Takeuchi’s elegantly written “In the City” explores a number of
large themes, as suggested by the title, while remaining painfully

My only complaint about this splendid collection is that Douglas
Glover’s skimpy introduction fails to explain the reasons for their


“Best Canadian Stories 00,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,