Review by Choice Review
This essential guide to the English and French literature of Canada is one of those books that should be owned by every academic library in North America. The second edition contains more than 1,100 entries, an increase of about one-third over the first (CH, Jul'84). Among the added topics are "Lesbian Literature" and "Italian-Canadian Literature." Toye, general editor of the first edition, is joined in this update by Benson, a novelist and playwright as well as a scholar of some note. They selected hundreds of specialists, many of whom contributed to the first edition, to update existing entries and add hundreds of new ones. The entries are signed; the contributors and their affiliations are listed at the front. Since the arrangement is alphabetical, there is no subject index. Some of the entries (e.g., "Novels in English," 37 p.) are quite long, while others consist entirely of cross-references to other entries. The binding is sturdy and the typeface readable if small. Recommended without reservation to all libraries. M. M. Bohn; University of Nebraska at Omaha
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
This edition of The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature (the first was published in 1983) has added more than 300 new entries, and its preface states that most entries have been modified and edited to capture up-to-date information. In nearly 1,200 pages, the book features entries that vary from a quarter page to more than ten pages in length. This is a worthy survey, including a wealth of information on all aspects of Canadian literature, from the erudite Robertson Davies to popular contemporary genre writers such as mystery writer Gail Bowen and science-fiction writer Spider Robinson. The many thematic essays are well written and provide enough information to develop a basic level of knowledge about a subject. There are essays on French and English children's literature, Acadian writers, drama, and the novel in both French and English; a major article on criticism; and a number of entries on the literature of various ethnic groups, including ItalianCanadians and CaribbeanCanadians. All entries are signed and contributors' affiliations are listed at the beginning of the book. There are plenty of see and see also references; in addition, names and terms within entries are capitalized to indicate that they appear as separate entries. Some entries include a few bibliographic references. The scope of this volume is impressive. It includes not only information about writers and poets but also publishers, publishing houses, themes and symbols in Canadian literature, and essays on individual works that stand out as landmarks in the field. It is the kind of reference work one can "dip into" for interest or use as a quick reference tool to begin a research assignment. The Companion is a must for all Canadian high-school, public, and academic libraries. This is also a necessary work for colleges offering Canadian literature and Canadian studies curricula, as well as those large public libraries where there is interest. Highly recommended.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
"Aboriginal literature," "Marie-Claire Blais," "Humour and satire," "Mystery or crime," "McGill-Queen's University Press," "Jane Rule," "Southern Ontario Gothic," and "Ukrainian-Canadian Literature" are just some of the more than 1100 entries that the second edition of this Oxford companion comprises. The text focuses on three main aspects of Canadian literatureEnglish-Canadian, Québéçois, and Acadianand gives a fine balance to francophone literature and writers. Like many such literary companions, references in entries to other entries appear in all-caps. There are 342 more entries than appeared in the first edition (LJ 5/1/84), and the original 193 contributors have expanded to 325 in this volume. Nearly all the original entries have been modified or updated. One problem with this type of format for nonbiographical entries is in knowing what is here. For instance, since there is no index, save for reading the preface one would not know that there are entries on "Censorship," "Fantastic Literature and Science Fiction in French," "Multicultural Writing in French," "Southeast Asian-Canadian Literature," or "Southern Ontario Gothic." A list of nonbiographical entries would have been useful. Nevertheless, this work is recommended as a useful source for academic and public libraries.Lee Arnold, Historical Soc. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.