cover image O Canada: Travels in an Unknown Country

O Canada: Travels in an Unknown Country

Jan Morris. HarperCollins Publishers, $20 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-018328-8

In splendid profiles of 10 Canadian cites and towns, travel writer Morris ( Destinations ) demonstrates the rich diversity of the country's mores, values and social and political systems, which, she insists, differ widely from those of the U.S. The French flavor of Quebec and Montreal; Britain's imperial imprint on St. Andrews and Toronto; and the Indian, Metis and Inuit customs of northern reaches recall Canada's origins and colonial beginnings. The daily life of cosmopolitan East and West coast cities is enriched by the cultures of emigrants from Europe and Asia, particularly the Japanese in Banff and Chinese in Vancouver, the author shows. With her unflagging instinct for the telling detail, Morris captures the sensual and atmospheric quality--pleasing or repellent--of a locality and conveys a sense of what it would be like to live there. (Apr.)