Coming Attractions 98

Description

143 pages
$31.95
ISBN 0-7780-1096-1
DDC C813'.0108054

Publisher

Year

1998

Contributor

Edited by Maggie Helwig

Ronald Charles Epstein is a Toronto-based freelance writer and published poet.

Review

Since 1980, this annual has showcased fiction by emerging Canadian
writers. Previous contributors have included Barry Dempster (1982),
Diane Schoemperlen (1984), and Rohinton Mistry (1986). The 1998 edition
features Leona Theis, Gabrielle Goliger, and Darryl Whetter.

Leona Theis of Saskatoon offers three tales of small-town life (“What
We Are Left With,” “Passing On,” and “Air Masses”), displaying
an intimate knowledge of Western Canadian society. Unfortunately for
Theis, our prairie provinces are familiar literary territory. Her prose
is engaging, but not compelling; readers may not make the extra effort
to find her work.

Ottawa’s Gabrielle Goliger draws connections between the Canadian
reality of her middle-class Jewish characters and their European
heritage in “In This Corner,” “Calling,” and “Premonitions.”
If one can identify with a young woman who remembers Eno commercials in
an Ottawa living room, then one may also relate to her mother, who sang
German wandering songs in the Prussian countryside. The author
reconstructs her past with perceptive restraint, but some readers may
view her understated style as lame.

Fredericton’s Darryl Whetter, unlike his colleagues, writes
self-contained tales. “Sitting Up” sensitively observes Danny
Carruthers, an 11-year old boy who writes messages on his skin using his
hives. (Such grossness is usually expected in horror stories, not
family-oriented literature.) In “Kermit Is Smut,” readers are
expected to mourn a hip teacher’s broken marriage, but may instead
wonder, “Who would place this ponytailed pothead in a classroom?”
“To Take a Man on the Hill” lacks these discordant elements,
focusing instead on the rivalry between two brothers during a Maritime
interprovincial footrace.

Coming Attractions is a venue that lets its authors display their
talents as they refine their techniques.

Citation

“Coming Attractions 98,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/729.