Asian-Canadian

1095 Gulf Islands iniquity

As if They Were the Enemy: The Dispossession of Japanese Canadians on Saltspring Island by Brian Smallshaw Victoria: University of Victoria, 2020 $24.95  /  9781550586671 (available at UVic bookstore for $24.95 plus shipping costs, or direct from b@pixelmap.ca for $26.00 including postage) Reviewed by Marie Elliott * Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December…
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1094 Escape from Nanking, 1937

The Library of Legends by Janie Chang Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2020 $22.99 /  9781443456050 Reviewed by Val Green * The year is 1937. The place is eastern China. The story of The Library of Legends by Janie Chang is a true account of the evacuation of university students from the city of Nanking across thousands…
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1077 Life beneath the streets

The Rat People: A Journey through Beijing’s Forbidden Underground by Patrick Saint-Paul, translated by David Homel Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020 $19.95 / 9781551528038 Reviewed by May Q Wong * In The Rat People: A Journey through Beijing’s Forbidden Underground, veteran foreign correspondent Patrick Saint-Paul exposes how Beijing’s, and indeed China’s, explosive growth has been…
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1056 Beijing in Canada

Claws of the Panda: Beijing’s Campaign of Influence and Intimidation in Canada by Jonathan Manthorpe Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2019 $24.95 / 9781770865396 Reviewed by Trevor Carolan * Book-length critiques of our national failures of nerve and vision seldom make easy reading. Drug use policies, Quebec-ROC relations, Indigenous reconciliation, housing and environmental issues — on and…
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1049 A wartime internment romance

Toshiko by Michael Kluckner Vancouver: Midtown Press, 2020 (new and revised edition; first published 2015) $19.95 / 9780988110175 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * A graphic novel about the wartime treatment of Japanese Canadians? Well, why not? After all, my earliest reading about the Japanese was in comic strips and the weekend newspapers. Terry and the…
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1031 Where are my people?

Burning Province by Michael Prior Toronto: Penguin Random House (McClelland and Stewart), 2020 $21.00 / 9780771072345 Reviewed by P.W. Bridgman * Michael Prior’s star is swiftly rising, and for good reason. This young poet, born and raised in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, is now an assistant professor of English and a Mellon ACM…
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1029 Redemption in Beijing

My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong Toronto: Simon and Schuster, 2020 $17.99 / 9781534480704 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * My Summer of Love and Misfortune is an aptly titled comic YA novel with a propensity for food-centric similes, “super” as the omnipresent intensifier of choice, no shortage of hyphens, and featuring Iris…
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1028 Christopher Tunnard’s gardens

Thinking a Modern Landscape Architecture, West & East: Christopher Tunnard, Sutemi Horiguchi by Marc Treib Novato, California: ORO Editions, 2020 $45.00 (US) / 9781943532780 Reviewed by Martin Segger * Thinking a Modern Landscape Architecture is a tale of two architects — or rather of two prominent books: Christopher Tunnard’s Gardens in the Modern Landscape (1948)…
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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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#996 Straight white guys and Tsingtao

You Are Eating An Orange. You Are Naked by Sheung-King (Aaron Tang) Toronto: Book*hug Press, 2020 $20.00 / 9781771666411 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * On January 6, 2021, Sheung-King’s You Are Eating An Orange. You Are Naked was announced as one of fifteen books long-listed for Canada Reads, an annual book competition organized by CBC…
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#957 Transmission of the Queer

The Walking Boy by Lydia Kwa Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 (first published by Key Porter Books, 2005) $19.95 /  9781551527635 Reviewed by Paul Falardeau * “To transmit the strange” is a fine goal to be set before a writer. One with the talents of Lydia Kwa might find in it the chance to do…
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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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#899 Vancouver apologizes

Journeys of Hope: Challenging Discrimination & Building on Vancouver Chinatown’s Legacies, by Henry Yu; edited by Sarah Ling, Szu Shen, and Baldwin Wong; translated into Chinese by Szu Shen Vancouver: UBC Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies, 2018. Distributed by the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia $50.00 / 9780993659317…
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#875 Chinese but not Chinese

Paper Shadows: A Chinatown Childhood: A Memoir of a Past Lost and Found by Wayson Choy Toronto: Penguin Random House, 2018; first published by Viking Penguin, 1999 $21.00 / 9780735234666 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * When I was six years old, ostensibly as a non sequitur, I announced, “I’m English!” to every family member circling…
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#874 Keeping company at Fort Hope

Potlatch Blanket for a China Man by Mei-Li Lee Victoria: Printorium Bookworks, 2019 $19.95  /  9780991808410 Reviewed by May Q. Wong For a complete list of BC booksellers that stock this book see here. It is also available from Amazon. * Mei-Li Lee draws the reader into her novel through a potlatch ceremony, where a…
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