Biography

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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#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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#986 Unsung artists find their voice

The Pocket Guide to The Unheralded Artists of BC Series; the Life and Art of Jack Akroyd, George Fertig, Mary Filer, Jack Hardman, Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher, LeRoy Jenson, David Marshall, Frank Molnar, Arthur Pitts, Mildred Valley Thornton, Ina D.D. Uhthoff, Harry Webb, Jessie Webb by Mona Fertig (editor), with an introduction by Marsha Lederman Salt Spring…
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#969 Piquing interest in Purdy

An Echo in the Mountains: Al Purdy after a Century by Nicholas Bradley (editor) Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020 $34.95 / 9780228003373 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * “Purdy,” I say. “Al Purdy. Have you heard of him?” “You mean like the chocolates?” She is probably joking. I am asking people I know outside…
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#966 A torrent of collective memory

The E.J. Hughes Book of Boats by Robert Amos Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2020 $22.00 / 9781771513364 Reviewed by Brian Harvey * For the British Columbia painter E.J. Hughes, who died in Duncan in 2007, the sea was never far away. Hughes wasn’t the only famous Canadian artist to include boats in his canvases — we’ll…
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#961 From Quilchena to Flanders

ESSAY: Remembering John Foster Paton Nash by Michael Sasges For Remembrance Day 2020, Michael Sasges presents the life of Nicola Valley rancher John Foster Paton Nash (1866-1916). John Nash’s name is on three Great War memorials.  The first is at his school in England, King William’s College on the Isle of Man; the second is…
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#960 West Kootenay baby boomer buba

Tuesdays with Jack: A Grandmother’s Love and a Little Boy’s Brilliance by Pauline Daniel Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2018 $18.95 / 9781926991825 Reviewed by Rose Morrison * Author Pauline Daniel, who likes to be known as the “how to follow your heart” coach, is the owner of Coaching Connections, a coaching service for women. She…
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#954 A counsellor’s perilous odyssey

Borderline Shine: A Memoir by Connie Greshner, with a foreword by Theresa Therriault Toronto: Dundurn, 2020 $19.99 / 9781459746121 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * Connie Greshner calls her book a “memoir” but it doesn’t feel like a memoir. It feels like those painful slapstick comedies in which the protagonist suffers pratfall after pratfall, supposedly for…
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#950 L.A. Woman, Billy, and Jim

Love her Madly: Jim Morrison, Mary, and Me. A Memoir by Bill Cosgrave Dundurn Press, 2020 $18.99 / 9781459746602 Reviewed by Randolph Eustace-Walden * Christmas 1986. I’m spending the month in Thailand. The island of Phuket hasn’t been gentrified yet. The streets are still dirt, the food and accommodation choices are still varied and cheap,…
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#931 Carr, captivity, creativity

Woo, The Monkey Who Inspired Emily Carr: A Biography by Grant Hayter-Menzies, with a foreword by Anita Kunz Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2019 $9.99 / 9781771622141 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * What, ultimately, does a statue represent? A statue is allegory at its most literal. A statue can never be the very person it…
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#887 The legend of British Columbia

Cataline: Uncovering the Life of BC’s Legendary Packer by Susan Smith-Josephy and Irene Bjerky Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2020 $22.95 / 9781773860244 Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch * This is a book about the making of British Columbia by the simple hard work of carrying industrial material, strapped to the backs of horses and mules, across…
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#877 A primer for modern teachers

You Suck, Sir: Chronicles of a High School English Teacher and the Students who Schooled Him by Paul Bae Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press (Robin’s Egg Books), 2020 $19.95 / 9781551528076 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * A comedian, podcaster, writer, and actor, Paul Bae also taught English at Vancouver’s largest public school. He co-created and co-wrote…
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