Postcard of the smelter at Trail, postmarked 1944

#19 The Reddest Rose

ESSAY: The Reddest Rose: Trade Unionist Harvey Murphy by Ron Vurzuh First Published: September 22nd, 2016 * Harvey Murphy is not a name that echoes loudly throughout the annals of 20th-century British Columbia labour history. In fact, the tireless trade union organizer, negotiator, and active Communist Party of Canada (CPC) bureaucrat has almost disappeared from…
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#8 Ann Blades

First Published: April 12th, 2015 B.C.’s maven of children’s literature, Judith Saltman, has designated Ann Blades’ self-illustrated Mary of Mile 18 (1971) as the “breakthrough” illustrated title by a B.C. writer for children. The published-from-Montreal story is based on Blades’ experiences as a novice teacher in northern B.C. Her second book in 1973 was similarly…
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#1 Welcome to The Ormsby Review

Richard Mackie and BCBookLook are teaming up to provide a new vehicle for serious writing about B.C. September 16th, 2016 The Ormsby Review will be named after Margaret Orsmby, the venerable historian who often met with Mackie for tea and talk during her retirement near Vernon. * Many estimable pre-internet figures are vanishing from public…
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Alan Fry (1931-2018)

“I have said more than once in frustration that if I had the power of God, I would put everyone on earth into a huge pot and stir them up so thoroughly they would come out all the same colour, probably some shade of brown. And there wouldn’t be any whites to lord it over…
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#269: A plague on our houses

Joan Givner compares Kevin Chong’s novel, The Plague (Arsenal Pulp $19.95), set in Vancouver with Albert Camus work of the same name published seventy years earlier. In 1947, Albert Camus published La Peste (The Plague), sometimes called his “resistance novel.” Set in the Algerian coastal city of Oran, it channelled his experiences during the German…
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HISTORY: It takes one to know one

In All the Fine Young Eagles: In the Cockpit with Canada’s Second World War Fighter Pilots (Douglas & McIntyre $28.95) — an updated and expanded second edition — David Bashow takes the reader into the cockpit, as its subtitle promises, but it does much more than that. He seamlessly portrays Canada’s fighter war at the…
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The wisdom of Solomon

Joel Solomon has befriended founders of Greenpeace, Hollyhock, TIDES and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream; and he has backed Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Surrey highlighted from 1850s to 1980s

In Surrey: A City of Stories, she has provided a well-researched, engaging, and inclusive historical overview of B.C.’s fast-growing city. Surrey: A City of Stories by K. Jane Watt Surrey: City of Surrey Heritage Services (Fenton Street Publishing), 2017. $25.00  /  9780973910919 Reviewed by Janet Mary Nicol * This visually rich book provides a satisfying…
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Georgia Straight endures & thrives

“Georgia Straight: A 50th Anniversary is a must-read for those interested in B.C. and Lower Mainland life in the last fifty years.” — Ron Dart

Cold feet in Tatshenshini

The walker who came in from the cold is the subject of a new book that has already won the Pojar Award and been longlisted for the Ryga Award.

Secwépemc history prevails

Marianne Ignace and Ronald E. Ignace have represented ten thousand years of settlement with Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws: Yerí7 Stsq̓ey̓s-kucw.

Norman Bethune and women

In the forthcoming Rediscovering Norman Bethune, Larry Hannant maintains Bethune was not a crass womanizer, as alleged by unreliable biographer Ted Allen. Hannant’s essay is previewed here.

Alberta/BC & the Great Divide

Jay Sherwood’s superb Surveying the Great Divide recalls how Canada’s longest provincial boundary was formalized by a few brave men over a five-year period.