William H. New

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 135

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[Nowlan's] Miracle at Indian River (1968) gathers together eighteen stories about the Maritimes. Laconic, witty, gentle, and perceptive, they look shrewdly at institutions like the Church, with its profound influence on cultural mores, sympathetically at the idiosyncrasies of individuals, and forcefully at the economic limitations that burden the entire community. Various Persons Named Kevin O'Brien (1973) is more uneven. Billed as a novel and structured as eleven vignettes in the title character's memory of his changing identity, it again affirms an appreciation of cultural roots, but the Maritime mystique of the earlier book is lost in the attempt to explore character in more depth. (p. 259)

William H. New, "Fiction," in Literary History of Canada: Canadian Literature in English, Vol. III, Carl F. Klinck, General Editor (© University of Toronto Press 1965, 1976), second edition, University of Toronto Press, 1976, pp. 233-83.∗

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