Coming Attractions 92

Description

118 pages
$12.95
ISBN 0-88750-890-1
DDC C813'.01'05

Publisher

Year

1992

Contributor

Edited by Douglas Glover and Maggie Helwig
Reviewed by Susan Minsos

Susan Minsos is a sessional instructor of English at the University of
Alberta.

Review

There’s no comparing the three women whose short stories make up this
collection. Suffice it to say that, as the ever-encouraging dustjacket
observes—accurately for once—this book is a gem, with “[the
writers] bringing new insights to the experience of living in Canada.”

Caroline Adderson’s “The Chmarnyk” focuses on the murder of
Galician Teo. Of the many deaths in this short story, Teo’s occurs
with scary deliberation: a vengeful farmer shoots him. The lack of
self-pity displayed by the young female narrator contributes to the
story’s success. We don’t soon forget this girl’s matter-of-fact
tone and her (nearly) funny comments as she recites her family’s
fearsome history.

In Marilyn Eisenstat’s “Still Born,” a woman falls apart during
her niece’s birthday party. The author is subtle in her use of
symbolism, and her writing makes the embarrassing situation of the
bereaved woman’s hysteria at the birthday party turn on emotions both
poignant and condemning.

Marina Endicott’s “Being Mary” brings readers, especially women,
back to the age of 6, the age of superstition and the time of learning
about right and wrong. Laura eats Darlene’s eraser—at least, she
takes a big bite out of it—because “it was a beautiful pink eraser .
. . that smelled wonderful, like candy.” Laura’s conscience gets
wrapped around a pole as a result of her behavior, but she forgives
herself (“it was not after all the crime of the world”) and faces
life, head-on, in the most endearing fashion.

Citation

“Coming Attractions 92,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/30948.