Memoir

#808 Refugee in the Slocan Valley

The Foundations of Kindness by Richard Vission Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2020 $25.00 / 9781771834735 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * When I finished Richard Vission’s new book, The Foundations of Kindness, I went for a long walk, letting the book and stories and the history of what he has depicted wash through me. (The title comes…
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#801 Welcome to Ormsby Street

Welcome to Ormsby Street by Richard Somerset Mackie * In September 2016, in his Welcome to the Ormsby Review, Richard Mackie provided his memories of Margaret Ormsby (1909-1996), the B.C. historian after whom The Ormsby Review is named. He referenced their conversations in two fine old living rooms in the Coldstream Valley, near Vernon, where…
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#798 Shipwrecks, orphans, pianos

Epistle to the Pope: Memoir and Survivor-Impact Statement from a Shipwrecked Orphan by Dharel Verville Victoria: FriesenPress Publishing, 2020 [price to follow] / 9781525554292 Reviewed by Constance Brissenden * Epistle to the Pope is the memoir of a seeker, a classical pianist, and a sometimes drug dealer and addict. Author Daryl Verville, known by his…
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#793 Sons, fathers, and fatherhood

Forty Fathers: Men Talk About Parenting by Tessa Lloyd, with a foreword by Peter Mansbridge Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2019 $34.95 /  9781771622431 Reviewed by Trevor Marc Hughes * From Peter Mansbridge’s foreword to Tessa Lloyd’s Forty Fathers: Men Talk About Parenting, it’s clear that this iconic CBC figure regretted not having spent more…
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#788 The year of the bicycle: 1973

MEMOIR: The year of the bicycle, 1973: North American backroads at the end of the Indochina War by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Here, for the vicarious pleasure of the many COVID-19 shut-in readers of The Ormsby Review who are unable to travel, is a memoir of an ambitious bicycle journey taken in 1973 by Howard…
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#782 You work or you starve

Cures for Hunger: A Memoir by Deni Ellis Béchard Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 2019 (first published by Milkweed Editions, 2012) 22.95 / 9781773101453 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * When I was a girl, growing up on a backwoods farm in southeastern BC, I loved to listen to men talk. They were so sure of themselves….
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#779 The building goddess of Lund

The Way Home: How a Naïve Single Mom Built her House in the Forest by Terry Faubert Powell River: Steller Books, 2019 $15.00  /  9781096448211 The Way Home is available online through Amazon and Indigo, plus in Powell River at Coles and Ecoessentials, and in Lund at Pollen Sweaters. Terry Faubert can be contacted at…
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#778 On the road with Sir Kenneth

MEMOIR: On the road with Sir Kenneth by Grahame Ware * Recently we published Grahame Ware’s review of Horn Swoggled: A Play by Armstrong playwright Ken Smedley: see The Ormsby Review no. 762 (March 5, 2020). In a follow-up email, Grahame described his intense and productive artistic friendship with Smedley in the mid-1990s, when the…
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#776 Five women at the edge of empire

Henry & Self: An English Gentlewoman at the Edge of Empire by Kathryn Bridge Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum, 2019 (first published by Sono Nis Press, 1996) $22.95 / 9780772672612 * By Snowshoe, Buckboard and Steamer: Women of the British Columbia Frontier by Kathryn Bridge Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum, 2019 (first published by Sono…
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#772 Echoes of spirits dreaming

Bawaajigan: Stories of Power by Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler and Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith (editors) Toronto: Exile Editions, 2019 $21.95 / 9781550968415 Reviewed by Savana Alphonse with Rebecca Fredrickson * Bawaajigan: Stories of Power is a collection of short stories written by seventeen Indigenous authors from Turtle Island, today known as Canada. The stories here serve…
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#754 Hurt & healing at Prophet River

In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience by Helen Knott Regina: University of Regina Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9780889776449 Reviewed by Angie Tucker * On March 12, 2020, In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience, by Helen Knott, was one of five books shortlisted for the 2020 Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize of the BC and…
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#751 A boyhood at Banff Station

When Trains Ruled the Rockies: My Life at the Banff Railway Station by Terry Gainer Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2019 $22.00 / 9781771603010 Reviewed by Rod Deakin-Drown * It’s clear, I think, that Terry Gainer’s heart of hearts belongs to the Canadian Pacific Railway Station in Banff, Alberta — especially in his memories of the…
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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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#738 Cowichan soliloquy

River Tales: Stories from My Cowichan Years by Liz Maxwell Forbes Crofton: Osborne Bay Books, 2019 $24.95 / 9780994906533 Reviewed by Georgina Montgomery * It has always been a happy thought to me that the creek runs on all night, new every minute, whether I wish it or know it or care, as a closed…
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#736 Bowering’s ashes and sparks

Taking Measures: Selected Serial Poems by George Bowering, edited by Stephen Collis Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2019 $49.95 (hardcover) / 9781772012378 (softcover $29.95 due Fall 2020) * Ten Women: Stories by George Bowering Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2015 $20.00 / 9781772140316 * Writing and Reading: Essays by George Bowering Vancouver: New Star Books, 2019 $18.00 / 9781554201549 Three…
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