#931 Carr, captivity, creativity

Woo, The Monkey Who Inspired Emily Carr: A Biography by Grant Hayter-Menzies, with a foreword by Anita Kunz Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2019 $9.99 / 9781771622141 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * What, ultimately, does a statue represent? A statue is allegory at its most literal. A statue can never be the very person it…
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#930 The relevance of Ken Lum

Everything is Relevant: Writings on Art and Life, 1991-2018 by Ken Lum, with an introduction by Kitty Scott Montreal: Concordia University Press, 2020 $64.95 / 9781988111001 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * Where on earth is he? The Vancouver Art Gallery is staging an interview with Vancouver-born art star Ken Lum. It’s May 2020, deep into…
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#929 Sylliboy’s ​hieroglyphic poetry

Kiskajeyi — I Am Ready: A Hermeneutic Exploration of Mi’kmaq komqwejwi’kasikl Poetry by Michelle Sylliboy, edited by Michael Calvert Nanoose Bay: Rebel Mountain Press, 2019 $19.95 / 9781775301929 Reviewed by Paul Falardeau * On a first approach to Mi’kmaq poet Michelle Sylliboy’s work, one might quickly notice her interdisciplinary approach to interacting with the world…
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#927 A runecaster’s apprenticeship

Runecaster Book 1: The Stone of Sorrow by Brooke Carter Victoria: Orca Book Publishers $14.95 /  9781459824393 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * The Stone of Sorrow concerns magic, myth, and adventure. Each page I turned of this YA (young adult) novel meant more mystery and surprise. I wasn’t sure how much Icelandic and Norse mythology…
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#926 Crisis on the front line

The Last High by Daniel Kalla Toronto: Simon & Schuster Canada, 2020 $22.00 / 9781501196980 Reviewed by Benjamin Matthews * Daniel Kalla’s The Last High begins with a murder, or rather a bunch of murders. We get a firsthand view of the murders through the eyes of Alexa, a 16-year-old girl who watches in bliss…
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#925 The process of forgetting

On Forgetting a Language by Isabella Wang London, ON: Baseline Press, 2019 [out of print]  /  9781928066477 Reviewed by Michael Turner * This ten-poem unpaginated chapbook arrived in my mailbox last week, an hors de commerce copy because its numbered run of 80 is now in the hands of its readers. I chose the book…
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#924 Fractured angles & pools of time

A Song from Faraway by Deni Ellis Béchard Fredericton: Goose Lane, 2020 $22.95 / 9781773101545 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Novel? Collection of short stories? A Song from Faraway is, in a conventional sense, neither of these. Or both. And this isn’t the only lack of convention in Deni Ellis Béchard’s new book. Pieced together…
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#923 Return to the Book of Small

When Emily was Small by Lauren Soloy Toronto: Penguin Random House, 2020 (Tundra Books) $21.99 / 9780735266063 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Lauren Soloy is both author and illustrator of this lovely adaptation of Emily Carr’s “White Currants” from The Book of Small (1942), which Doris Shadbolt, in the introduction to The Emily Carr Omnibus,…
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#920 Rogue reverberating

We Two Alone by Jack Wang Toronto: Anansi, 2020 $19.95 / 9781487007461 Reviewed by William New * Jack Wang is a welcome new voice in Canadian letters. I say ‘new,’ because We Two Alone is his first book of stories; but in fact he has been an active writer for several years. Since 2015 he…
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#919 Métis descent vs race-shifting

Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity by Darryl Leroux Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2019 $27.95 / 9780887558467 Reviewed by David Milward * The arrival of Europeans on the shores of the Americas centuries ago made certain results inevitable. The colonization of Indigenous peoples, with its attendant atrocities and exploitation, certainly constitute a great many…
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#917 McIntyre’s West Coast Modern

McIntyre House by Sherry McKay, with a preface by Douglas Coupland and photography by Michael Perlmutter Novato, California: ORO Editions, 2020, and Vancouver: UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture [SALA] / West Coast Modern House Series $24.95 (US) / 9781943532940 Reviewed by Martin Segger * As Leslie Van Duzer — series editor of UBC…
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