Cover image for From Ink Lake : Canadian stories
From Ink Lake : Canadian stories
Ondaatje, Michael, 1943-
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Viking, 1990.
Physical Description:
xviii, 714 pages ; 23 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR9197.32 .F76 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ondaatje's selection of short Canadian fiction makes the case for Canada as the continent's new melting pot. Inuits and Indians as well as Canadians born of European stock are the expected representatives, but immigrants from around the world and across the border are also featured in an amazingly varied pool of talent. Putting to rest the country's image as an Anglo-Saxon colony of English literature, this book explores the changes Canada has undergone in mid-century as people from Asia and South America have expanded the population mix. Both established writers such as Wallace Stegner and Margaret Atwood and more recently acclaimed authors like Guy Vanderhaeghe and Rohinton Mistry join in a superb and surprising mosaic of impressions and images. ~--John Brosnahan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Stories dating from the 1930s to the present comprise this ethnically diverse and rewarding collection featuring Wallace Stegner, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Alistair MacLeod, Joy Kogawa and Mordecai Richler. ``One absorbs, in addition to the highly literary quality of most of these 50 tales, an idea of the vast breadth of Canada,'' said PW. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Drawing on what poet-novelist Michael Ondaatje rather outrageously calls "wonderful" writing, From Ink Lake emerges as the most comprehensive anthology of Canadian stories available. It includes work by Margaret Laurence, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Gabrielle Roy, Mordecai Richler, Anne Hebert, Stephen Leacock, Mavis Gallant, Timothy Findlay, even Glenn Gould, and a gaggle of other bright northern authors, and it gathers writing in English, French, and Native languages, covering this land from sea to sea, all three seas--Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic. The gathering belongs at the top of a growing pile of books from North-of-just-about-everything-we-know, demonstrating that Canada is what Ondaatje came from Sri Lanka to find--"a subtle, believable country." To the "mosaic," and the "two solitudes" that others have found in Canada can be added this white canvas with a lake dark as ink. In Surfacing, Atwood wrote about an "American disease" speading north, but Ondaatje's subtle volume shows Canada quietly writing its depths, its self, into consciousness: it looks pretty resistant to disease. Among anthologies of the last decade, this is the biggest and, yes, most "wonderful." Recommended for all levels, all collections. -R. H. Solomon, University of Alberta