Biography

#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: Friesen Press, 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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#575 The late, great, James Teit

At the Bridge: James Teit and An Anthropology of Belonging by Wendy Wickwire Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019 $34.95 / 9780774861526 Reviewed by Daniel Marshall * On February 6, 2020, At the Bridge: James Teit and An Anthropology of Belonging, by Wendy Wickwire, was shortlisted for the annual George Ryga Award, given to a B.C. writer…
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#573 B.C.’s forgotten artists

The Ormsby Review presents a joint review of all ten books in the Unheralded Artists of B.C. Series from Mother Tongue Publishing of Salt Spring Island, 2008-2017. — Ed. Monika Ullmann, with an introduction by Brooks Joyner, The Life and Art of David Marshall (Mother Tongue: 2008) (UABC #1) Eve Lazarus, Claudia Cornwall, and Wendy Newbold…
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#570 Rolf Knight (1936-2019)

Rolf Knight (1936-2019) An obituary by Alan Twigg * Born on March 4, 1936, the son of an itinerant cook, Rolf Knight grew up in remote B.C. logging camps, without other children to play with. He gained his M.A. in anthropology at UBC in 1962, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1968. For decades…
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#565 The Germans are here

Through the Whirlpool: Swept Up in the Nazi Apocalypse by Karl Koerber CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2019 $15.85 / 9781718958524 * In Other Words: A German-Canadian Story by Norbert Ruebsaat CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017 $16.20 / 9781547129027 * Both books reviewed by Harold Rhenisch *                  …
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#544 Greg Younging (1961-2019)

First published May 5, 2019 Greg Younging (1961-2019) An obituary by Alan Twigg * Formerly an Assistant Director of Research for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Dr. Gregory George Younging, a publisher of Theytus Books and a professor of Indigenous Studies at the UBC Okanagan campus, died at the Penticton Hospital on May…
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#540 Wayson Choy (1939-2019)

First published April 29, 2019 Wayson Choy (1939-2019) An obituary by Alan Twigg * At age 80, Wayson Choy died at home on April 28, 2019. Wayson Choy was born on April 20, 1939 in Vancouver as the only son of two working parents. His mother was a meat-cutter and sausage stuffer; he was told…
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#532 The death of Robert Dziekanski

Blamed and Broken: The Mounties and the Death of Robert Dziekanski by Curt Petrovich Toronto: Dundurn, 2019 $20.99 / 9781459742932 Reviewed by Bonnie Reilly Schmidt First published April 19, 2019 * On October 14, 2007, Robert Dziekanski arrived in Vancouver on a flight from Poland to begin a new life in Canada. In Blamed and…
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#515 Fulford Harbour’s silent poet

Almost Islands: Phyllis Webb and the Pursuit of the Unwritten by Stephen Collis Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2018 $24.95 / 9781772012071 Reviewed by Sharon Thesen * Literary friendships are the source of more compositional energy than we usually give them credit for. As Stephen Collis reminds us in this deeply engaging book-length essay set within his friendship…
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#500 A tall tale from Port Renfrew

Big Lonely Doug: The Story of One of Canada’s Last Great Trees by Harley Rustad Toronto: House of Anansi Press (Walrus Books), 2018 $22.95 / 9781487003111 Reviewed by Mark Forsythe * An immense, solitary Douglas fir stands inside a vast clear-cut. Sun-bleached slash stretches in all directions; the tree’s shadow reaches for a nearby second…
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