Asian-Canadian

#863 A love letter to Vancouver

Pineapple Express by Evelyn Lau Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2020 $18.00 / 9781772141474 Reviewed by Grace Lau * If, upon hearing the words “pineapple express,” you immediately think of a certain feel-good stoner/buddy comedy from the late 2000s starring Seth Rogen, James Franco, and a few tons of weed, you could be reasonably forgiven. Though also…
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#862 The remarkable Victoria Chung

A Woman in Between: Searching for Dr. Victoria Chung by John Price with Ningping Yu Vancouver: Canadian Chinese Historical Society of British Columbia and UBC Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies, 2019 $30.00  /  9780993659324 Reviewed by May Q. Wong * An immigrant girl, born in Victoria in 1897 and a…
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#836 Yucho Chow’s wide & diverse lens

Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow by Catherine B. Clement, translated by Winnie L. Cheung Vancouver: Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia, 2020 $70.00 / 9780993659331 Reviewed by May Q. Wong * Chinatown’s photographer was not just for Chinese. This substantial coffee-table book of photographs tells not one, but…
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#835 Songs for crossover Mamas

My yt mama by Mercedes Eng Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2020 $16.95 / 9781772012552 Reviewed by Grace Lau * As I read through Mercedes Eng’s poetry collection, my yt mama, I found myself in a liminal space that is rarely explored in the stories in mainstream culture. How many stories about “yt mamas” and Chinese fathers do…
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#823 Canadian internment legacies

Civilian Internment in Canada: Histories & Legacies by Rhonda L. Hinther and Jim Mochoruk (editors) Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2020 $31.95 / 9780887558450 * The Stories Were Not Told: Canada’s First World War Internment Camps by Sandra Semchuk Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2019 $34.99 / 9781772123784 * Harry Livingstone’s Forgotten Men: Canadians and…
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#710 Four Strathcona princesses

The Princess Dolls by Ellen Schwartz, with illustrations by Mariko Ando Vancouver: Tradewind Books, 2018 $12.95 / 9781926890081 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner * Best friends Esther and Michiko and their longing for two dolls of the English princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, provide subjects for a wartime tale of friendship, racial injustice, and displacement set in…
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#685 Tracking the Komagata Maru

Voices of Komagata Maru: Imperial Surveillance and Workers from Punjab in Bengal by Suchetana Chattopadhyay New Delhi: Tulika Books, 2018; New York: Columbia University Press, 2019 $35.00 (U.S.) / 9788193401583 Reviewed by Larry Hannant * Many Canadians became aware of the name Komagata Maru only in 2016, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, still in his…
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#678 A life of lumber and sawmills

Asa Johal and Terminal Forest Products: How a Sikh Immigrant Created BC’s Largest Independent Lumber Company by Jinder Oujla-Chalmers Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $28.95 / 9781550178890 Reviewed by Gurpreet Singh * Asa Johal and Terminal Forest Products is a special interest book for those who wish to learn more about British Columbia’s forest industry,…
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#656 Facing all the ghosts

The Forbidden Purple City: Stories by Philip Huynh Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions 2019 $22.95 / 9781773100784 Reviewed by William New * Editor’s note: We are pleased to report that on February 6, 2020,  The Forbidden Purple City: Stories was shortlisted for the annual George Ryga Award, given to a B.C. writer who has achieved an outstanding…
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#647 Finding Anna Wong

Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads by Ellen van Eijnsbergen and Jennifer Cane (introduction) and Zoë Chan and Keith Wallace (essays), with a foreword by Maurice Wong Burnaby: Burnaby Art Gallery, 2018 $40.00 / 9781927364314 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner * Visit the Burnaby Art Gallery’s touring exhibition, Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads, at the …
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#646 An abiding hunger for art

Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making of a Brown Queer Man by C.E. Gatchalian Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $18.95 / 9781551527536 Reviewed by Vincent Ternida * “I live for art.” This is how C.E. Gatchalian commences his brief but dense collection of interconnected personal essays in Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making…
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#645 The journeys of Eizo Osada

The Return of the Shadow by Kunio Yamagishi London: Austin Macauley, 2018 £6.16 (U.K) $25.95 (Cdn) / 9781786937155  /  Please order from your local bookstore or through Book Depository who offer free worldwide shipping. Reviewed by Patricia E. Roy * In July 2019, The Return of the Shadow, by Comox Valley writer Kunio Yamagishi, was shortlisted…
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#615 A floating city sinks

Floating City by Kerri Sakamoto Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2018; Penguin Random House, 2019 $21.00 / 9780345809896 Reviewed by Grahame Ware * “One swallow doth not a summer make” – Shakespeare, from Aristotle Kerri Sakamoto’s flight south to warmer climes after the publication of One Hundred Million Hearts (Penguin, 2005) has been a multi-year migration. And…
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#612 Chinese ghosts, Chinese identity

The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family by Lindsay Wong Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018 $19.95 / 9781551527369 Reviewed by Imogene Lim First published January 17, 2019 * Editor’s note: this review was first published in The Ormsby Review in January 2019. Somehow it disappeared when material…
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