Black writers & topics

1186 Excuses: a preemptive review

The New Race: Selected Writings, 1901-1904 by William H.H. Johnson, afterword by Jade Ferguson Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, forthcoming November 2022 $19.99 / 9781771124140 Reviewed by Frank Mackey * My only excuse for writing this account of a book yet unpublished is that I grew tired of waiting for it. The request had…
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1180 Ormsby’s summer fundraiser

Ormsby’s summer fundraiser by Richard Mackie * Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Readers of The Ormsby Review, On behalf of The Ormsby Literary Society, its Board of Directors, and our Advisory Board (listed below), we must appeal to our readership for financial assistance. We are most grateful to the 96 donors who contributed to our 2020…
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1030 Blacks in BC then and now

Go Do Some Great Thing: The Black Pioneers of British Columbia by Crawford Kilian, with a foreword by Adam Rudder Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2020 (3rd edition, first published 1978) $26.95 / 9781550179484 * “Where Are You From?” Growing Up African-Canadian in Vancouver by Gillian Laura Creese Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019 $34.95 /…
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#884 Decolonizing Shakespeare

Sonnet’s Shakespeare by Sonnet L’Abbé Toronto: Penguin Random House (McClelland & Stewart), 2019 $21.00 / 9780771073090 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * On March 12, 2020, Sonnet’s Shakespeare, by Sonnet L’Abbé, was one of five books shortlisted for the 2020 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes. Winners will be announced on September…
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#864 Crossing Lake Tanganyika

Maison Rouge: Memories of a Childhood in War by Liliane Leila Juma Vancouver: Tradewind Books, 2020 $12.95 / 9781926890302 Reviewed by Howard Stewart * Like many of us, I often find myself reading a couple of books at the same time. So, when I picked up Leila Juma’s thin tome I was also reading another…
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#836 Yucho Chow’s wide & diverse lens

Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow by Catherine B. Clement, translated by Winnie L. Cheung Vancouver: Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia, 2020 $70.00 / 9780993659331 Reviewed by May Q. Wong * Chinatown’s photographer was not just for Chinese. This substantial coffee-table book of photographs tells not one, but…
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#804 Gibson’s poetic pyrotechnics

How She Read by Chantal Gibson Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $20.00 / 9781987915969 Reviewed by Renée Sarojini Saklikar * On March 12, 2020, Chantal Gibson’s How She Read was shortlisted for both the 2020 Dorothy Livesay and Jim Deva prizes of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes. Winners will be announced on September 19th. As…
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#785 A New World Oliver Twist

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan Toronto: HarperCollins, 2018 $33.99 / 9781443423380 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Since its publication in the summer of 2018, Esi Edugyan’s novel Washington Black has made a resounding impact. Reviews abound; awards and award short listings likewise. Stirring most comment and praise are not just the gripping story line, but…
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#732 Race, rails, and Hogan’s Alley

They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada by Cecil Foster Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2019 $22.95 / 9781771962612 Reviewed by John Douglas Belshaw * For Black History Month Canada (February 1- 20, 2020) we present John Belshaw’s review of Cecil Foster’s They Call Me George: The…
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#722 A punchy and brilliant debut

Shut Up You’re Pretty by Téa Mutonji Vancouver: VS. Books, an imprint of Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $17.95 / 9781551527550 Reviewed by Jenna Butler * Téa Mutonji’s 2019 short story collection Shut Up You’re Pretty is the first book to be released under Arsenal Pulp Press’s VS. Books, a new imprint publishing work by young…
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#619 Government knows best

Moved by the State: Forced Relocation and Making a Good Life in Postwar Canada by Tina Loo Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019 $29.95 / 9780774861014 Reviewed by LiLynn Wan * Moved by the State is a comparative history of forced relocation and development in five regions in Canada from the 1950s to the 1970s. In some…
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#569 Superscript and sexual tension

Reproduction by Ian Williams Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada, 2019 $35.00 / 9780735274051 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * On September 3, 2019, Ian Williams’ debut novel Reproduction was longlisted for the ScotiaBank Giller Prize and later that month was one of six books shortlisted for the prize. Williams, of UBC, was announced as the winner…
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