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Begamudré, Ven.

Erin (Ont.), The Porcupine's Quill, c1986. 109pp, paper, $755, ISBN 0-88984- 071-7.

Reviewed by Kenneth A. Elliott

Volume 14 Number 6
1986 November

The author was born in South India in 1956 and emigrated to Canada in 1962. He has written potboilers, children's stories, and adult short fiction, of which the present work is an example. His adult fiction has appeared in the anthologies Saskatchewan Gold and More Saskatchewan Gold and in the photography magazine Blackflash. He was awarded the W.O. Mitchell Bursary to study at the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts. Begamundré is a charter member of The Bombay Bicycle Club, a Regina prose group. His most recent stories deal with the plight of upwardly-mobile East Indians.

This work explores the conflicts within people who dream of leaving their homeland for the promise of a better life. It focusses on a boy named Harishchandra, his mother, Rukmini, who learns to fend for herself instead of depending on others, and his father, Krishna, who fades in and out of their lives. It is a story sprinkled with the colloquialisms and vocabulary of a family in India. Those readers whose roots are in the East will feel right at home among these pages.

Six chapters compose this small volume, which was financed by the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board. The margins are adequate. The printing on beige paper adds to the ease of reading.Unfortunately, the absence of a table of contents deprives the reader of a quick overview of the work. Besides the mandala on the cover, the sketch of Shiva on the title page, and the photograph of the author on page 110, there are no other illustrations in the book. Those readers who are familiar with the culture of India will find this work interesting; those who are not will find it tedious.

Kenneth A. Elliott, Laval Catholic H.S., Chomedey, Que.
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