Notes Across the Aisle.
Edited by Peter Carver.
Grades 9 and up / Ages 14 and up.
It is usually the events which seem insignificant that have the most profound effects in life.
All my life, all my loves, it is she I search for on the streets, among the faces of strangers. And when I see black hair cascading like a waterfall, I take a second look.
WE CELEBRATE THISTLEDOWN'S second anthology of short stories for young adults. The success of the Blue Jean collection (1992) seemed to call for another national competition, from which the seventeen stories in Notes Across the Aisle were taken.
Some of the winning writers are as young as eighteen; for many, this is their first time in print. The plots are varied and diverse; the themes deal with relationships, angst, coming of age and making sense of our world; the settings range from "a steamy Sri Lankan summer, wartime Halifax, the dinosaur badlands, a Northwest Company fort of 200 years ago, and a future when human contact thrives only by modem."
The characters all make their way through a complex world, though they are not perhaps as developed or memorable as those of the Canadian masters of the short stories like Valgardson or Munro.
We can only hope there will be a third volume.
Grace Shaw is a teacher at Vancouver Community College.
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