Postcard of East Pender Street, circa 1960

#501 My Private Chinatown

MEMOIR: My Private Chinatown by Grahame Ware * The literature of remembrance turns the lost world of objects into emblems of a bygone culture. What is lost can be repossessed through memory and writing, for it is in the vagaries of consciousness in retracing lost dreams that possession can best be established. Writing about memories…
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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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#499 Joining generations in Nelson

Growing Together: Conversations with Seniors and Youth by Lee Reid Nelson: Nelson CARES Society Press, 2018 $25.00 / 9781775399308 See Available at Nelson CARES, 709A Vernon St., Nelson, B.C., V1L 4G3 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * What a good idea! Get teens and elders together to talk. Ask teens to take notes and record…
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#498 Poems of faith and simplicity

Exposed by Eileen Curteis Terrace: CCB Publishing, 2018 $44.06 (via Amazon) / 9781771433594 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * A poem named “Simplicity” begins: “There’s nothing complex/ about the rain.” I ponder the significance of that statement, which seems to me debatable. Then a personality named Simplicity enters the poem to tell us the “soft drizzle”…
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#497 Vancouver’s master broadcaster

George Garrett: Intrepid Reporter by George Garrett Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $26.95 / 9781550178661 Reviewed by Michael Sasges * George Garrett: Intrepid Reporter is important reading for anyone interested in Vancouver politics and journalism in the last fifty years of the previous century. As a reporter for radio station CKNW from 1956 to 1999,…
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#496 Too much sail, not enough ballast

Across Oceans of Law: The Komagata Maru and Jurisdiction in the Time of Empire by Renisa Mawani Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2018 $27.95 (U.S.) / 9780822370352 Reviewed by Hugh Johnston * Renisa Mawani writes a thoroughly academic prose, not intended for a casual audience. Even so, her book will have fans, especially among…
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#495 Of moose and rhubarb wine

North of Familiar: A Woman’s Story of Homesteading and Adventure in the Canadian Wilderness by Terry Milos Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2017 $24.95 / 9781987915457 Reviewed by Heather Graham * In the summer of 1974, a newlywed couple from California, completed paperwork in hand, crossed the border into Canada as immigrants to begin a new…
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#494 Breaking Bad in Ladysmith

85 Grams: Art Williams, Drug Czar by Daryl Ashby Victoria: Tellwell Talent, 2018 $19.95 / 9781773703503 Reviewed by Kathryn Neilson * During the 1970s, Arthur James Williams ran the largest MDA lab in North America near the small town of Ladysmith on Vancouver Island. With assistance from trusted confidants, he produced and distributed millions of…
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#492 Haida, settlers and scholars

Shaping the Future on Haida Gwaii: Life Beyond Settler Colonialism by Joseph Weiss Vancouver: UBC Press, 2018 $32.95 / 9780774837590 Reviewed by Molly Clarkson * I’ll admit that I approached Dr. Joseph Weiss’s Shaping the Future on Haida Gwaii: Life Beyond Settler Colonialism with a not-insignificant amount of trepidation. Another ethnographic examination of the Haida…
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#491 Poetry beyond the dumpster fires

What the Poets Are Doing: Canadian Poets in Conversation by Rob Taylor (editor) Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2018 $22.95 / 9780889713437 Reviewed by John Pass * A poet may not be the best person to review What the Poets Are Doing: Canadian Poets in Conversation, edited by Rob Taylor. While my interest and commitment to the task…
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#490 Applauding a forgotten play

The God of Gods: A Canadian Play by Carroll Aikins, edited and with an introduction by Kailin Wright University of Ottawa Press, 2016 $29.95 / 9780776623276 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy First published Feb. 19, 2019 * Although a remarkable piece of British Columbia’s theatre history played out not far from where I write and was…
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