Biography

#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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#859 Celebrating Indigenous jewellery

Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry: The Art, the Artists, the History by Alexander Dawkins, with a foreword by Corrine Hunt Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2019 $24.95 / 9781771642972 Reviewed by Victoria Wyatt * Northwest Coast Indigenous artists working in jewellery have long deserved more attention on these arts. Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry: The Art, the…
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#854 A real book about real music

Jan in 35 Pieces: A Memoir in Music by Ian Hampton Erin, Ontario: Porcupine’s Quill, 2018 $24.95 / 9780889844131 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve All line drawings below by Ian Hampton * Cellist Ian Hampton is known in British Columbia and elsewhere as a distinguished musician and music educator, but his influence goes deeper and further…
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#851 The reluctant warrior & writer

The Grim Reaper: The Life and Career of a Reluctant Warrior by Stu Grimson with Kevin Allen Toronto: Penguin Random House (Viking), 2019 $32.95 / 9780735237247 Reviewed by Timothy Lewis * Stu Grimson played 729 games in the National Hockey League, recording 17 goals and 22 assists. Those are not scoring statistics normally associated with…
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#841 Frank Barnard’s coach & mail

Stagecoach North: A History of Barnard’s Express by Ken Mather Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 $22.95 / 9781772033090 Reviewed by Matthew Downey * Ken Mather’s chronicle of Barnard’s Express, the company that carried freight and passengers between coastal and interior British Columbia during the gold rush years of the mid to late 19th century, connects the…
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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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#831 Don’t mention the Yukon Poet

Robert Service: The True Adventures of Yukon’s Favourite Bard by Elle Andra-Warner Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 (first published as Robert Service: A Great Canadian Poet’s Romance with the North, Altitude Publishing, 2004) $9.95 / 9781772033311 Reviewed by William R. Morrison * As an experiment in the lasting influence of poetry in this country, I thought…
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#825 Alison’s excellent adventure

Moments of Glad Grace: A Memoir by Alison Wearing Toronto: ECW Press, 2020 $16.99 / 9781770415133 Reviewed by Graeme Wynn * This splendid memoir recalls the week that Alison Wearing spent researching family history with her father in Dublin. It is, on the face of it, a beautifully-crafted, bitter-sweet story of an excellent adventure. Anxious…
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#802 Cutting Simon Fraser down to size

Lowering Simon Fraser by Maddie Leach (concept and editing) and Michael Kluckner (drawings and interpretation) Vancouver: Contemporary Art Gallery, 2019 [catalogue; no price]  / 9781989503027 Lowering Simon Fraser (the catalogue) is available from the shop at the Contemporary Art Gallery Reviewed by Forrest Pass * 1908 should have been a bumper year for commemorations in…
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#801 Welcome to Ormsby Street

Welcome to Ormsby Street by Richard Somerset Mackie * In September 2016, in his Welcome to the Ormsby Review, Richard Mackie provided his memories of Margaret Ormsby (1909-1996), the B.C. historian after whom The Ormsby Review is named. He referenced their conversations in two fine old living rooms in the Coldstream Valley, near Vernon, where…
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#799 Murder at the Sumas settlement

The Trials of Albert Stroebel: Love, Murder and Justice at the End of the Frontier by Chad Reimer Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781773860206 Reviewed by Kathryn Neilson * The Trials of Albert Stroebel chronicles the 1893 murder of John Marshall, a farmer on the Sumas prairie, and its consequences for his one-time…
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#796 John McLoughlin of Rainy Lake

Rainy Lake House: Twilight of Empire on the Northern Frontier by Theodore Catton Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017 $32.95 (U.S.) / 9781421422923 Reviewed by Sarah Carter * The pandemic crisis descends as I write this review and my first thought is that this book will be a welcome diversion from the anxieties and upheavals…
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#791 The incomparable Al Howie

In Search of Al Howie by Jared Beasley Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2019 $25.00 / 9781771603386 Reviewed by Timothy Lewis * The old adage tells us not to judge a book by its cover, but in the case of Jared Beasley’s In Search of Al Howie, one learns much from that practice. The reader’s eye…
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#776 Five women at the edge of empire

Henry & Self: An English Gentlewoman at the Edge of Empire by Kathryn Bridge Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum, 2019 (first published by Sono Nis Press, 1996) $22.95 / 9780772672612 * By Snowshoe, Buckboard and Steamer: Women of the British Columbia Frontier by Kathryn Bridge Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum, 2019 (first published by Sono…
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