Mordecai Richler, editor    Writers on World War II: An Anthology.
Knopf, 727 pages, $30

reviewed by Julian Symons

What’s here and what’s not? An opening question to make the anthologist’s heart sink. It does, however, have particular relevance here because Mordecai Richler’s intention is to produce a mosaic of World War II, a picture produced “by cementing together small pieces … of various colours,” pieces varying in size from a couple of paragraphs to twenty-odd pages, with the final “big picture” looking “something like a group novel that would tell the story from the invasion of Poland to the signing of the peace treaty on board the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay,” and also “illuminate what it was like for the other side, yesterday’s enemies.”

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