Ghostwise; A Book of Midnight Stories collected by Dan Yashinsky. Charlottetown,PEI: Ragweed Press, 1997. ISBN 0-921556-66-7 (pb) 224 pp $14.95

Dan Yashinsky has produced another, his third, collection of stories from Canadian tellers. The stories of Native Canadian Johnny Moses begin and end the collection, framing the others which reflect the cultural mosaic that now characterizes Canada's people. From East to West, PEl to Vancouver Island and places in between, these tellers share their ghost stories.

"The stories here," says Yashinsky in the introduction, "are about strange experiences, things beyond the everyday, good ghosts and malevolent phantoms." Of the thirty-five tales included, some are folktales, others are personal stories. Cathy Miyata's telling of No-Pear-A-Bow adds a Japanese jump story to ghost tellers' repertoires. One of the most moving tales, Jim Meeks' personal story about mourning his grandfather's death, is echoed in Jamie Oliviero's central African story about learning when to let go of grieving so that the dead can rest peacefully. One of the most bone-chilling for me was Ted Potochniak's story called "My Mother's Curse". There are stories of loup-garous, wendigos, revenants, and forerunners.

Yashinsky has a gift for seeking and finding people whose stories are alive with telling but may never have been published before. The tellers whose stories are included here range from the very well known in Canada, such as Alice Kane, to others who may be better known for their work as librarians, playwrights, authors, and educators. Notes on the lives and work of the various contributors are almost as interesting to read as the stories.

Recommended for older children and adults. Ragweed Press can be reached at P.O. Box 2023, Charlottetown, PEl Canada C1A 7N7 [I think Ragweed has folded]

The Second Story Review, Vol 3, No. 1, March 1998
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