Small Wonders: New Stories by Twelve Distinguished Canadian Authors


176 pages
ISBN 0-88794-104-4





Edited by Robert Weaver
Reviewed by Claudette Young

Claudette Young was a freelance reviewer in Burlington, Ontario.


Small Wonders is a collection of twelve short stories by Canadian writers. They were edited by Robert Weaver, the first editor of Tamarack Review, originator of CBC’s “Anthology,” and the editor of several other books of Canadian short stories. These stories were commissioned for broadcast on “Anthology” as well as for publication in this volume.

Like most collections, this one is a mixture. One of the better stories, “The Sandwich Generation,” by Jane Rule, introduces characters you care about in the familiar three-generation conflict. Lucile is the middle of the sandwich, with parents on one side and child on the other. She is the glue bonding the generations together as she tries to deal with their lives and her own. A most satisfying short story.

Also a pleasure is Kent Thompson’s “Coming Home,” an excursion into a man’s mind and imagination as he walks home, thinking primarily of his daughter. We understand his reactions later, when he learns of her rape. An interesting insight into the male psyche.

The other stories also have moments of humour or pathos, some characters who breathe and some plot turns that intrigue. Sometimes the use of symbolism is heavy and some stories neither enlighten nor entertain. Twelve of the best-known Canadian writers are represented here, but the stories are not unfailingly good.


“Small Wonders: New Stories by Twelve Distinguished Canadian Authors,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 22, 2024,