The Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories in English


436 pages
ISBN 0-19-540565-X




Edited by Margaret Atwood and Robert Weaver
Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Joan McGrath is a Toronto Board of Education library consultant.


The Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories is exactly what the title promises: a solid-gold collection of some of the best short pieces by some of the most illustrious Canadian writers, selected by two highly qualified judges. The writers of the 41 stories are listed chronologically in the table of contents, from the earliest, Isabella Valancy Crawford, 1850-87, to the latest corner, Guy Vanderhaeghe, born 1951. A brief section of biographical notes provides the essential facts of the various authors’ lives and works to date, and an index of authors lists the contributors alphabetically. Some of the pieces are well-loved golden oldies; others will be totally unfamiliar to most readers. The diverse subjects range from nature to the supernatural; they tell of the past and of the present; and suggest the future. This is a collection that could proudly hold its own with any short fiction published anywhere. It is a mere truism to state with confidence that there is something here for every reader to savour, to reread, and to recommend to anyone who appreciates the very best of its kind.


“The Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories in English,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,