CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Ben-Z. Shek
Don Mills (Ont.), Oxford University Press, 1991. 151pp, paper, $9.95
ISBN O-19-540723-7. CIP


Reviewed by Alan Thomas.

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

This survey, published in Oxford's series "Perspectives on Canadian Culture," provides an overall view of French-language fiction from the era of the historic romance, Les Anciens canadiens (1863), to the present. Profes­sor Shek has published widely in the field and serves as a completely assured guide along the classic road through Trente arpents (1939) and Bonheur d'occasion (1945) to the outpouring of the 1960s and the popular novels of the 1980s, such as Kamouraska, Le matou and the "americanite" novel Volkswagen Blues. The powerful feminist writers of the last two decades are given a chapter of their own.

Shek's general method is to attach socio-historical and ideological frames to plot summaries, but he also quotes critics with a greater textual interest. Most of the authors discussed at length have works available in English transla­tion, and appendices list such transla­tions and provide a bibliography of criticism, both French and English. There is also an index of authors.

This should prove a highly useful little book for teachers engaged in teaching francophone literature in English.

Alan Thomas, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copyright information for reviewers

francaisDigital Collections / Collections Numérisees francais