1011 No tea left unstirred

Teatime Around the World by Denyse Waissbluth, illustrated by Chelsea O’Byrne Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2020 $22.95 / 9781771646017 Reviewed by Caileigh Broatch * Teatime Around the World invites readers to afternoon tea with an English duchess, to drink green mint tea in Morocco, and buy masala chai from chai wallah vendors in India. Within the…
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1010 A trans tale of triumph

Blood Sport by Tash McAdam Victoria: Orca Books, 2020 $10.95  /  9781459824362 Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw * Vancouver author Tash McAdams has written a little gem in Blood Sport. Part of the Orca Soundings series — short, high-interest novels targeted at teen readers — this novel is a fast-paced and exciting read. It is…
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1009 Reclaiming Indigenous history

Kwanlin Dün: Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur – Our Story in Our Words by Kwanlin Dün First Nation Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2020 $50.00 / 9781773270784 Reviewed by Daniel Sims * 2020 certainly was an interesting year in academia. For the most part campuses were vacant, with classes online, and overall productivity negatively down. One should…
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1008 Mighty land, small laws

The Diary of Dukesang Wong: A Voice from Gold Mountain by Dukesang Wong, edited by David McIlwraith, translated by Wanda Joy Hoe Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2020 $18.95 / 9781772012583 Reviewed by May Q. Wong * For almost 140 years, the voices of the thousands of Chinese who built the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) have been silent….
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1007 Love affair with Africa

Moon Madness: Dr. Louise Aall, Sixty Years of Healing in Africa by Alan Twigg Vancouver: Ronsdale Books, 2019 $21.95 / 9781553805939 Reviewed by Valerie Green * In writing the true-life story of Dr. Louise Aall (pronounced All), author Alan Twigg has produced a spellbinding biography about an incredible woman. For sixty years, Dr. Aall devoted…
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1006 Three bad bills of 1983

Tranquility Lost: The Occupation of Tranquille & Battle for Community Care in BC by Gary Steeves Gibsons, Nightwood Editions, 2020 $21.95 / 9780889713864 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Three bad bills revisited: BC’s Operation Solidarity and the attack on public services in the early 1980s. Being on a picket line, protesting in the street, or…
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1005 Ready, steady, halibut

Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast by Ned Bell with Valerie Howes Vancouver: Figure 1, 2017 $29.99 / 9781773270876 Reviewed by Gillian Crowther * What is the bait for cooks? Ingredients? Recipes? What makes us cast our eyes over a cookbook? The cover? The title? The author? The search for inspiration? The desire…
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1004 Startled by a secret talent

Blood-Brain Barrier by Geoffrey Morrison Victoria: Frog Hollow Press, 2019 $15.00 / 9781926948904 Reviewed by Matthew Tomkinson * In the interest of full disclosure, Geoffrey Morrison is a frequent writing collaborator of mine, and together we wrote a book of short stories called Archaic Torso of Gumby (Gordon Hill Press, 2020). Therefore I was delighted…
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1003 Windsor’s grit and magic

Fontainebleau by Madeline Sonik Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2020 $20.00 / 9781772141481 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * University of Victoria professor Madeline Sonik’s second collection of stories springs from the gritty suburban projects and amorphous rural settings in and around Windsor, Ontario in, roughly, the third quarter of the 20th Century. Linked short stories (think James…
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1002 Saving west coast Modernism

Modern in the Making: Post-War Craft and Design in British Columbia by Daina Augaitis, Allan Collier, and Stephanie Rebick (editors) Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing and Vancouver Art Gallery, 2020 $40.00 / 9781773271224 Reviewed by Martin Segger * This substantial, fact-packed volume doubles as a reference authority and as an exhibition catalogue; the subject enthusiast must…
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Postcard of BC Ferries in Active Pass, circa 1961

Calling all passengers!

Calling all passengers by Richard Mackie * Passenger warning: ship’s whistle will sound. May I make a special request to readers of The Ormsby Review? To be eligible for the next BC Arts Council grant, which is due Jan 4th, as a digital journal we need at least 300 email subscribers. We are not quite…
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Ormsby Drive, Coldstream, BC

1000 A new year’s milestone

A new year’s milestone by Richard Mackie Publisher and Editor The Ormsby Review * With this, our 1,000th post of BC books and authors, we wish to acknowledge the support of the many readers who have followed and supported The Ormsby Review since our start in September 2016. It is sheer coincidence that this 1,000th…
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#999 Kootenay hardrock intrigue

Big Ledge: The Triumphs and Tribulations of Robert E. Sproule by Brian D’Eon Nelson: Home Star Press, 2018 $20.00 /  9781775387206 Reviewed by Art (Sean Arthur) Joyce To obtain copies of Big Ledge, contact Brian D’Eon here. * Big Ledge by Brian D’Eon is that rarity in historical fiction — a story that combines historical…
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"Mother of Feminism" (Mary Wollstonecraft) by Maggi Hambling at Newington Green, London, November 2020. Photo courtesy Sky News

#998 Letters from the Pandemic 10: My dearest Mary

Ms. Mary Wollstonecraft c/o The Disputatious Hereafter by Reema Faris * My dearest Mary, It’s been over five years since our encounter at Gunnebo House on the outskirts of Göteborg. Pushing the door ajar for me was such a kind gesture on your part. Luc, 14 at the time and with all the certainty of…
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