The Spice Box: An Anthology of Jewish Canadian Writing


310 pages
ISBN 0-919630-75-8




Edited by Gerri Sinclair and Morris Wolfe
Reviewed by Fay Lando

Fay Lando was Projects Officer at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food in Toronto.


Selections of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry of more than 35 Canadian Jewish authors are included in this anthology. The selections share a common theme, that of being Jewish in Canada. They have been arranged to show the evolution from the traditions of the old world to the angst of the new.

Many of the authors enjoy an international reputation: Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, Norman Levine. Others, less well known, are a delight to discover: Solomon Ary, Rochl Korn, J.I. Segal.

This is a thought-provoking anthology for the reader interested in Jewish Canadian literature in general. More specifically, the selections offer glimpses into the state of mind and heart of immigrants who couldn’t change their old world mentality, even while living in the new world. These writings give way to those of Canadian-born Jews. It’s definitely a new world mentality here, with agonizings over growing up in the upper-class Jewish ghetto of Forest Hill Village in Toronto (Erna Paris) and an analysis of self and a failed marriage (David Lewis Stein). In between the “old” and the “new” are two delicious pieces of humour by Leacock award winner Morley Torgov and by Jerry Newman.

Reader beware! This anthology may well inspire the investigation of other works by authors only sampled here.


“The Spice Box: An Anthology of Jewish Canadian Writing,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 2, 2023,