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PRISM International - Winter 2004

  • Issue Number: Volume 42 Number 2
  • Published Date: Winter 2004

This issue features the winner of the magazine's 2003 Maclean Hunter Endowment Award for literary nonfiction, an essay contest judge Andreas Schroeder calls "beautifully calibrated." Russell Wangersky's "Mechanics of Injury" is an expertly crafted account of his work as a volunteer fireman, work he no longer does, not because of any permanent injury, but for reasons more complex and, therefore, more interesting ("burns heal, but other things linger…they are things that warp the way you see."). Wagnerky helps us not only to see, but to experience on a deeper level what he has seen. He knows which details to tell and when to tell them; he demonstrates a firefighter's sense of urgency and a writer's instinct for restraint. He finds a necessary balance between description and contemplation and his prose is often alarmingly beautiful, given the nature of his subject: "This equation is strangely reduced in my memory to geometry: the curve of her stomach, the triangle of her skirt, the oval of people standing around her looking down." Equally fine this issue is fiction from E.J. Levy ("Gravity"), a writer with a great ear for dialogue, a mature sense of story, and masterful control over her characters' emotional journeys. [PRISM International, University of British Columbia, Buchanan E-462, 1866 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z1. E-mail: . Single issue $7.] - SR

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Review Posted on April 30, 2004

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