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Edited by Geoffrey Ursell.

Moose Jaw, Coteau Books, c1982.
Distributed by Thunder Creek Co-op.
292pp, paper, $3.50.
ISBN 0-919926-15-0.

Reviewed by Walter Kalyn.

Volume 11 Number 3.
1983 May.

The book cover says that Saskatchewan Gold is a powerful new collection of stories to astonish and entertain you." They are right. I was often entertained and certainly astonished, astonished that some of these items were judged good enough to be included in this collection. Each of the stories are contributed by a Saskatchewan writer, and, as can be expected, there is a wide diversity in subject matter and quality. No criteria for selection is given except that it seems the editor liked the stories. Many of the stories have Saskatchewan settings, but they are not confined to this region. Most seem to be set in the past with quite a few childhood reminiscences. Unfortunately, only a few are light or humorous; too many are depressing stories dealing with the less pleasant side of life. Most of them seem to concern people who have marital, drinking, psychological, sexual, or social problems. How come we do not have any "normal" people? This is hardly representative of the Saskatchewan people that I know, and I do not think this collection gives any kind of insight into the general life in the "New West."

Although a few of these stories will be of interest to adolescents, the majority of them will have greater appeal to adults. If you are considering this as part of a school library Saskatchewan literature collection, you should note the liberal use of four letter words in many stories and that "The Sen Sen Kid Dreams of Heaven" is a steamy sexual escapade that some might consider as pornographic.

Saskatchewan Gold does contain a few pieces that might be described as "gold," but it has many more that at best are semiprecious stones, and a few that, despite the editor's claim to the contrary, are fool's gold. Recommended only for adults interested in regional CanLit. They can enjoy the good and disregard the rest.

Walter Kalyn, Thorn C. I., Regina, SK.
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