canadian ~ twenty-first century literature since 1999

Young Men
by Russell Smith
Doubleday Canada, 1999.

Reviewed by Michael Bryson

Russell Smith expands the emotional range of his fiction with his latest effort, a collection of short fiction revolving around the mores and anxieties of his favourite subject, young men. 

Smith's writing has matured, but it remains on occasion flat and his satire has been moderated by (yuk) guilt (which more than one of his characters admits to feeling after expressing sentiments contextually inappropriate). 

The most successful story in the collection, "The Stockholm Syndrome," hints at a turning point in Smith's career, as he shows himself able to integrate his subtle social criticisms of Toronto's glitterati and the down home wisdom of his Nova Scotian youth. 

These are Smith's two solitudes (and the oft ignored solitudes of Canlit, which are urban/rural, not English/French). Let's hope he returns to them.







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ISSN 1494-6114. 


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