Biography

#771 A tale of rubble and splendour

Lampedusa by Steven Price Toronto: McClelland & Stewart (Penguin Random House), 2019 $32.00 / 9780771071683 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * On March 12, 2020, Steven Price’s Lampedusa was one of five books shortlisted for the 2020 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes. Winners will be announced on September 19th at…
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#764 Refuge at Hot Springs Cove

The Hot Springs Cove Story: The Beginnings of Maquinna Marine Provincial Park by Michael Kaehn Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $24.95 / 9781550178609 Reviewed by Mike Starr * Ivan Clarke and his wife Mabel donated the land beside Hot Springs Cove to the Province of British Columbia to create Maquinna Provincial Park. This book, which…
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#749 Robin Blaser in retrospect

A Literary Biography of Robin Blaser: Mechanic of Splendor by Miriam Nichols New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019 $39.99 (U.S.) / 9783030183264 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * The most astonishing section of this book comes when author Miriam Nichols describes Robin Blaser’s time as a teacher at Simon Fraser University. Perhaps it is because…
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#748 Collishaw of the western desert

Flying to Victory: Raymond Collishaw and the Western Desert Campaign, 1940-1941 by Mike Bechthold Norman, Oklahoma: Oklahoma University Press, 2017 $34.95 (U.S.) / 9780806155968 Reviewed by John Hinde * In his recent book, Flying to Victory: Raymond Collishaw and the Western Desert Campaign, 1940-1941, Mike Bechthold points out that “May 1941 marked a pivotal transitional…
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#746 An early Indigenous advocate

The Fourth World: An Indian Reality by George Manuel and Michael Posluns (foreword by Vine Deloria Jr., afterword by Doreen Manuel, introduction by Glen Coulthard) Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019 (first published by Collier Macmillan Canada, 1974) $24.95 (U.S.) / 9781517906061 Reviewed by Chris Arnett * When I taught in the First Nations studies…
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#745 The secret spy of Salt Spring

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5’s Secret Nazi Hunter by Robert Hutton London: St. Martin’s Press, 2019. Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books Reviewed by Julian Wake * When I first read Eric Roberts’ Salt Spring Saga, someone here on Salt Spring — my home — told me that he had been an important…
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#711 In memoriam E.D. Blodgett

In memoriam E.D. Blodgett by James Felton (editor) * Born in Philadelphia in 1935, E.D. Blodgett (Ted) (Edward Dickinson) Blodgett came to Canada in 1966 to teach at the University of Alberta. He wrote 22 books of poetry, one of which, Apostrophes: Woman at a Piano (Ottawa: Buschek Books, 1996), won the Governor General’s Award for…
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#699 Reply to a cenotaph

Once Well Beloved: Remembering a British Columbia Great War Sacrifice by Michael Sasges Victoria: Royal BC Museum, 2019 $17.95 / 9780772672551 Reviewed by Sylvia Crooks * The national trauma of the First World War, even though it was fought over one hundred years ago, is still deeply felt today. Michael Sasges’ Once Well Beloved is…
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#690 A master’s fly patterns

Essential Fly Patterns for Lakes and Streams: Tips for Tying Your Own Flies by Brian Smith Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9781773860008 Reviewed by Myles Armstead * When you Google “fly tying recipes,” you will discover website after website devoted to every aspect of the art of tying flies, from tube flies to…
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#679 E.J. Hughes crosses the Strait

E.J. Hughes Paints British Columbia by Robert Amos Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2019 $35.00 / 9781771513104 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * How can I “review” a book that renders me breathless even before I open it? It takes a while to get past the cover, vibrating as it does with colour. This is the Fraser Valley…
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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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#674 Emily Carr in France

Emily Carr. Fresh Seeing: French Modernism and the West Coast by Kiriko Watanabe, Kathryn Bridge, Robin Laurence, and Michael Polay Vancouver: Figure 1, 2019, in collaboration with the Audain Art Museum $40.00 / 9781773270913 Reviewed by Robert Amos * Many people have a prejudice about Emily Carr. Crazy lady with a monkey, they say, and…
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#673 Catalyst of creative fantasy

Susan Benson: Art, Design and Craft on Stage by Patricia Flood Richmond Hill, ON: Firefly Books, 2019 $35.00 / 9780228101772 Reviewed by Celia Duthie * Susan Benson has had a charmed career. For over forty years, as a theatre designer and costumer for stage productions in England and North America, she has been a mistress…
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#667 By cedar canoe to London

Around the World in a Dugout Canoe by John M. MacFarlane and Lynn J. Salmon Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $29.95 / 9781550178791 Reviewed by Mark Forsythe  * There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea — Joseph Conrad The Tilikum is legendary in B.C.’s maritime history, and her captain…
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