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Doris Hillis.
Moose Jaw, SK: Coteau Books, 1985.
228pp., paper, $11.95.
ISBN 091992646-0. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Authors, Canadian (English)-20th century-Interviews.
Authors, Canadian (English)-Saskatchewan-Biography.

Grades 11 and up / Ages 16 and up

Reviewed by Louise Griffith.

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

Congratulations to Doris Hillis and those who supported and encouraged her on the publication of Voices and Visions: lnterviews with Saskatchewan Writers. Following an introduction by Eli Mandel, the book consists of thirteen biographies of Saskatchewan writers, each followed by a four or five page interview between Doris Hillis and the writer. Such topics as the influence of early life and place of residence and working methods are discussed. Other topics included are artistic theories and ideas about the importance of poetry, short stories, and the influence of Saskatchewan writers' groups and writing courses. As some of these writers are virtually unknown to a wider audience, it is difficult to assess the validity of these discussions, but they make quite interesting reading. In addition, they give a vivid picture of the vitality of the literary movement in Saskatchewan, including the beneficial influence of professors like Edward McCouxt. To Saskatchewan writers, and those familiar with the work of these poets and novelists, the discussions could be most valuable.

What is interesting, is that for some time there have been summer seminars in writing as well as university courses given by inspiring and supportive professors who encourage students to write for publication. In addition, there is a Saskatchewan Writers Association, backed by regional publishers, where these writers have opportunities for publication and acclaim. Writers-in-residence are found in a variety of localities supported by government and other official sources. Unfortunately, the literary scene in other areas in Canada is not as favourable as the picture in Saskatchewan revealed here.

I expect that all public, high school, and college libraries, and serious students of literature in Saskatchewan will want to own a copy of this useful reference book. Literary lobby groups from other provinces and students of Canadian literature will also find it helpful. The prairie scene on the cover by Anne E. Megget also helps to make the book attractive to all those who know and love Saskatchewan.

How fine it would be if similar volumes could be produced for other provinces and regions, especially if there were an effective infrastructure with sympathetic lecturers, summer schools, authors' associations, publishing houses, and literary magazines, all supported by sufficient funding. Again, congratulations to Doris Hillis for this fine volume and best wishes for her forthcoming one on other Saskatchewan writers.

Louise Griffith, Agincourt, ON.
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