Biography

1089 A lifetime of care and medicine

Improbable Journeys: From Crossing the Himalayas on Horseback to a Career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology by Dr. Bernard A.O. Binns and Ron Smith Oakville, ON: Rock’s Mills Press, 2020 $29.95 / 9781772441932 Reviewed by May Q. Wong * Dr. Bernard Binns’ memoir, co-written with Ron Smith, is partly a travelogue and mostly a commentary on…
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1086 The voice of the Gwich’in Elders

Gwich’in K’yuu Gwiidandài’ Tthak Ejuk Gòonlih: Our Whole Gwich’in Way of Life Has Changed: Stories from the People of the Land by Leslie McCartney and Gwich’in Tribal Council Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2020 $99.99 / 9781772124828 Reviewed by Daniel Sims * “Publish or perish” is an axiom of professional academics, especially those employed by…
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1085 A balanced cultural herstory

Hearing More Voices: English-Canadian Women in Print and on the Air, 1914-1960 by Peggy Lynn Kelly and Carole Gerson Ottawa: Borealis Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781896133713 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * As a library school student in the mid 1970s I was told that Anne of Green Gables could not be considered a Canadian classic;…
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1072 Healing through creativity

 A Whisper Across Time: My Family’s Story of the Holocaust told through Art & Poetry by Olga Campbell Vancouver: Jubaji Press, 2018, distributed by Red Toque Books. To purchase see here $31.95 / 9780981291123 Reviewed by Claire Sicherman * I first met visual artist and author Olga Campbell in 2019 at Vancouver’s Jewish Community Centre,…
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1069 Island women in the spotlight

On Their Own Terms: True Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island by Haley Healey Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 $9.95 / 9781772033250 Reviewed by Lynne Bowen * Vancouver Island attracts a certain type of person: a person who has chosen to live separate from convention, or from family, or from boredom, or from the past…
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1067 The uncertainty of Anne Carson

ESSAY: Anne Carson: Ambiguity, Uncertainty, Ecstasy by Bob Foulkes * On an otherwise ordinary day in 1965, a precocious, eccentric fifteen year-old discovered a book in the sales bin of a Coles bookstore, a serious tome by Willis Barnstone on Sappho the famous ancient Greek poet. The book was bilingual — ancient Greek and English,…
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1059 Tribute to Beverley McLachlin

Beverley McLachlin: The Legacy of a Supreme Court Chief Justice by Ian Greene and Peter McCormick Toronto: James Lorimer & Company, 2019 $29.95 / 9781459414402 * Truth Be Told: The Story of My Life and My Fight for Equality by Beverley McLachlin Toronto: Simon & Schuster, 2020 $24.95 / 9781982104979 Both books reviewed by May…
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1055 Hodgson of the Arctic

Umingmak: Stuart Hodgson and the Birth of the Modern Arctic by Jake Ootes New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2020 $29.95 / 9781777010102 Reviewed by Dylan Burrows * “Going North” is an expression laden with expectation. Uninvited guests, Canadians trespass upon occupied Indigenous lands; they enact their desires on territory they imagine as uninhabited. In Umingmak: Stuart…
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1051 The enigmatic Joachim Foikis

Fool’s Gold: The Life and Legacy of Vancouver’s Official Town Fool by Jesse Donaldson Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2020 $18.00 / 9781772141467 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * In the spring of 1967, if you went to the courthouse in downtown Vancouver between 2 and 3 p.m., you might have encountered a strange sight: a thirty-something man…
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1046 Featuring Anne Wheeler

Taken by the Muse: On the Path to Becoming a Filmmaker by Anne Wheeler Edmonton: Newest Press, 2020 $20.95 / 9781774390016 Reviewed by Lynne Bowen * A train has stopped on a prairie siding. A passenger watches through the window as several children play shinny on a frozen water-filled ditch beside the tracks. It is…
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1040 An East Kootenay setting

Chapter One: The Historical Background: The East Kootenay in the late Nineteenth Century by Brenda Callaghan * Editor’s note: we are pleased to present Chapter 1 of Brenda Callaghan’s hitherto unpublished biography, Frederick Paget Norbury, Remittance Man or Gentleman Immigrant? The Story of an Englishman in Canada, the introduction of which we published on January…
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1036 Kootenay Doukhobor family saga

Our Backs Warmed By the Sun: Memories of a Doukhobor Life by Vera Maloff Halfmoon Bay, Caitlin Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781773860398 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Doukhobor Diaspora: A family oral history offers an antidote to past misunderstandings about the Russian sect When I was in my teens, a terrible explosion rocked my West…
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1034 Women trailblazing in politics

Doing Politics Differently? Women Premiers in Canada’s Provinces and Territories by Sylvia Bashevkin (editor) Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019 $34.95 / 9780774860819 Reviewed by Barbara J. Messamore * Do women “do politics differently?” Not so much. That said, it is not at all clear that we need even ask the question “is it worth electing more…
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1033 On the road with Trevor Carolan

Road Trips: Journeys in the Unspoiled World by Trevor Carolan Salt Spring Island: Mother Tongue Publishing, 2020 $21.95 / 9781896949802 Reviewed by Brian Harvey * People writing about travel are like musicians playing a well-known piece. Both are interpreters, offering us their take on something that many have already seen or heard. Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata,…
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