Essays in non-fiction

#351 Essays from the north

First published Aug. 24, 2018. Where it Hurts: Essays by Sarah de Leeuw Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2017 $19.95 / 9781926455846 Reviewed by Heidi Greco * Heidi Greco reviews Sarah de Leeuw’s Where it Hurts: Essays, a collection that has been much-praised and shortlisted for national and regional non-fiction prizes. “These aren’t the essays your high…
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#320 An East Vancouver childhood

Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir by Chelene Knight Toronto: Book*hug, 2018 $20.00  /  9781771663908 Reviewed by Jennifer Chutter First published June 13, 2018 * Amidst the swirl of media reports of rising housing prices, empty houses, and increased property taxes, Chelene Knight’s Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir offers a rare and nuanced view of what…
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#311 Going to the dogs

First published May 30, 2018. I fought the law, and the dog won The Dog Lover Unit: Lessons in Courage from the World’s K9 Cops By Rachel Rose New York: St. Martin’s Press (Macmillan Publishers), 2017. $28.99  /  9781250110749 Reviewed by Bonnie Reilly Schmidt * Rachel Rose’s The Dog Lover Unit: Lessons in Courage from…
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#256 Norman Bethune and women

First published Feb. 28, 2018. I’m not your man: Norman Bethune & women An essay by Larry Hannant * Doctor, medical innovator, propagandist, artist, political activist — Norman Bethune is nothing if not multitalented. The same complexity marks his character. The accounts of friends and acquaintances portray a man whose personality was multifaceted and contradictory,…
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#254 Theresa Kishkan’s orchard

Euclid’s Orchard and Other Essays by Theresa Kishkan Salt Spring Island: Mother Tongue Publishing, 2017. $22.95  / 9781896949635 Reviewed by Catriona Sandilands First published Feb. 27, 2018 * My kitchen, on this wet, early January afternoon, is saturated with the smell of apples slowly reducing to become apple butter. In the almost-forgotten autumn, my daughter…
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#251 The stupid man’s smart person?

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada, 2018 $34.95  /  9780345816023 Reviewed by Ron Dart First published Feb. 23, 2018 * Controversial University of Toronto psychologist and cultural critic Jordan Peterson, condemned by Maclean’s as “the stupid man’s smart person,” has spoken to sold-out audiences…
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#235 Dancing on paper

First published Jan. 19, 2018. A Queer Love Story: The Letters of Jane Rule and Rick Bébout by Marilyn R. Schuster (editor) Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017. $39.95  / 9780774835459 Reviewed by Patricia Demers * Reading a collection of letters can be something of a guilty pleasure. Marilyn Schuster’s edition of the letters of Jane Rule…
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#196 Batten down the anthology

Spindrift: A Canadian Book of the Sea by Michael L. Hadley and Anita Hadley (editors), with illustrations by Matthew Wolferstan Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017 $36.95  /  9781771621731 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski First published Nov. 6, 2017 * This is an anthology with something like a mission. In “Waypoints,” his foreword to this anthology, historian…
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#189 Skimming is for milk, not reading

First published October 24, 2017 REVIEW: Garage Criticism: Cultural Missives in an Age of Distraction by Peter Babiak Vancouver: Anvil Press 2016. $20.00 /  978-1-77214-050-7 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy Ginny Ratsoy praises the jaw-dropping candour of Peter Babiak as he surveys popular culture in our dumbed-down digital world, still attached to his pre-internet brain, in…
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#180 The first major B.C. internments

Essay: Refuge of a Scoundrel: Patriotism and William Bowser by Wayne Norton First published Oct. 13, 2017 * In this Ormsby Review exclusive, Wayne Norton reveals that in his brief term in office (1915-16), the Conservative Premier William Bowser fanned the flames of patriotism stoked by mounting Canadian war casualties and the German sinking of…
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#168 Feminist shareholders meet

First published Sept. 11, 2017 REVIEW: Making Room; Forty Years of Room Magazine Edited by the Meghan Bell and the Growing Room Collective Vancouver and Halfmoon Bay: West Coast Feminist Literary Magazine Society and Caitlin Press, 2017. $24.95 9781987915402 Reviewed by Megan J. Davies *   Holding the 416-page heft of this volume gives me…
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#130 The making of Making Room

First published May 23, 2017 REVIEW: Making Room; Forty Years of Room Magazine Edited by the Meghan Bell and the Growing Room Collective Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2017, with the Growing Room Collective. $24.95  /  9781987915402 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve   * When I began to think about reviewing this book, a Canadian historian expressed…
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