Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature, by Margaret Atwood (Toronto, 1972), has enjoyed a controversial, sometimes heated reception. Readers who disagree with Atwood find her thesis - that most Canadian literature deals with victims of various types and that "grim survival" is its central theme - forced, and argue that she has selected works which will support her argument. But those who see more merit in Atwood's thesis find the book challenging and exciting. In either case, Survival is written with intelligence, candour and wit and has had a powerful influence on readers of Canadian literature.