Biography

#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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#663 Canadians in Bomber Command

Four Who Dared: Inspiring Stories of Canadian Airmen in the Second World War by Kenneth B. Cothliff Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $22.95 / 9781772032949 Reviewed by Sylvia Crooks * We are losing our Canadian veterans of the Second World War so quickly, now that they are in their nineties and beyond. How grateful we must…
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#657 Government House calling

The Lieutenant Governors of British Columbia by Jenny Clayton, with a foreword by Janet Austin Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $26.95 / 9781550178647 Reviewed by Patrick A. Dunae * The Office of the Lieutenant Governor is perhaps best known to the public for its pageantry. But it has an important constitutional function. It was created…
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#650 Love in vile places

Love in Vile Places: Military Hospitals as the Site of Care and Nurture by Jo-Anne Fiske * For Remembrance Day 2019 we present a memoir by Jo-Anne Fiske of François Lake, in BC’s north-central interior, of her father Humphrey William Fiske (1886-1959). At the time of his enlistment in Kelowna in 1916, the Norfolk-born Fiske…
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#628 Myths, Mounties, and Métis

Sam Steele: A Biography by Rod Macleod Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2018 $35.99 / 9781772123791 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * There’s a CBC Heritage Minute about Sam Steele. You may have seen it. A stern, moustachioed Mountie sits at his rough wooden desk, staring down an excitable American prospector who wants to wear pistols…
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#627 Out of a Danish orphanage

Feast of Fields by Sean Karemaker Wolfville, NS: Conundrum Press, 2018 $18.00 / 9781772620252 Reviewed by Chris Fink-Jensen * Feast of Fields, by Vancouver artist Sean Karemaker, is a graphic biography that tells the story of his mother’s childhood experiences living in an orphanage in Denmark. The book begins from Karemaker’s own perspective, recounting a…
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#625 To Italy with Stendhal

A Promise on the Horizon by Ann Pearson Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2019 $24.95 / 9781989467022 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Ann Pearson’s work of biographical fiction, A Promise on the Horizon, will be greatly esteemed by historians, academic researchers, and lovers of the Napoleonic era. Pearson takes the reader on a delightful journey of…
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#624 Fishing the Kamloops trout

Trout School: Lessons from a Fly-Fishing Master by Mark Hume with Mo Bradley, illustrated by Nana Cook and with a foreword by Claire Hume Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2019 $22.95 / 9781771644167 Reviewed by Myles Armstead * Most fly-fishing books fall into two categories: those that speak of the natural beauty and the philosophical ponderings of…
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#618 The deeper language of women

Women’s Writing in Canada by Patricia Demers University of Toronto Press, 2019 $34.95 / 9780802095015 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * They used to throw women artists in mental institutions, our radical behaviour disruptive to the norm. Across the street from my house, there is a half way home for mentally challenged adults, the victims of…
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#599 Coast Salish women revealed

Interwoven Lives: Indigenous Mothers of Salish Coast Communities by Candace Wellman Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 2019 $27.95 (U.S.) / 9780874223644 Reviewed by Marie Elliott * Researching settlement history can take you in many directions, some more challenging than others. While helping people with their family histories at the Washington State Archives in Bellingham,…
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#596 Escape from the fish farm

Jim Christy: A Vagabond Life by Ian Cutler, with a foreword by Luis E. Navia Port Angeles, WA: Feral House, 2019 $17.95 (U.S.) / 9781627310741 Reviewed by John Moore * Literary biography is a problematic genre. Ostensibly, its purpose is to illuminate the author’s work, but writing about an author inevitably means competing with a…
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#590 Mission to skid row

In His Steps: The Life and Times of Wilberforce Cooper, Vancouver’s Skid Road Priest by Peter J. Cooper Victoria: FriesenPress Publishers, 2019 $27.68 / 9781525544545 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * St. James’s Anglican Church presides over Vancouver’s Downtown East Side — presides over but does not loom over. Described as simultaneously Byzantine, Gothic Revival, and…
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