Ken Mitchell Country


429 pages
ISBN 0-919926-34-7






Edited by Robert Currie
Reviewed by Ingrid vonHausen

Ingrid conHausen was a librarian in New Hamburg, Ontario.


Mitchell is a prairie writer of drama, poetry, novels, and short stories. This collection contains a sampling of his work, of which “earlier versions” have been previously published in little magazines or books, or broadcast on CBC radio.

There is much variety here, in form as well as content. Many of the stories are light-hearted, full of sophomore humour, of the Great White North variety. Others, like “A Time to Sow” or “Teachers,” are sombre indeed.

The characters, not always likeable, often desperate and inarticulate, are well drawn. The retarded boy in “Teachers,” the marriage-shy farmer in “A Time to Sow,” the farmer in “Truckin’,” even the moronic Mountie in the otherwise forgettable “Meadowlark Connection” are real characters.

Though this could be classified as regional writing, the settings range from the prairies to Greece. The time is the ‘60s and ‘70s.

This uneven collection, some pieces quite good, others not so, in the final analysis will not discredit the author. His is a genuine voice — a bit crude perhaps, but authentically Canadian.


Mitchell, Ken, “Ken Mitchell Country,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 20, 2024,