Art & artists

Remembering the working west coast

He presents his book as “a story of events I witnessed in a lifetime of living and working in the logging camps and workboats on the BC Coast.” Phyllis Reeve reviews From Camp to Camp, from Dock to Dock: The Work of Doug Harrison, The BC Coast in My Eyes by Doug Harrison (Gabriola Island: Doug Harrison, 2023) $39.95

Familial matters

Buoyant debut novel ponders manhood and Indigeneity…
Brett Josef Grubisic reviews Beautiful Beautiful, by Brandon Reid
(Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2023) $24.95 / 9780889714540

No. 2000 for the BC Review!

When we launched The British Columbia Review — then The Ormsby Review — in September 2016, little did we expect that seven years later we’d post our 2000th review. I’m grateful to everyone — reviewers, publishers, authors, booksellers, and readers — for making it such a success and promoting BC writers, writing, and culture. It…
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Elite art collecting demystified

Pictures on the Wall: Building a Canadian Art Collection by Michael Audain Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2023 $60.00  /  9781771623742 Reviewed by Trevor Marc Hughes * On the evening of November 14, 2002, I walked through a chilly downtown Vancouver, MiniDisc recorder and microphone safely tucked away in a shoulder bag, toward my destination:…
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Poems embrace the natural world

Poems with ‘immediacy, tactility, and general imaginative freshness’…
Christopher Levenson reviews Crushed Wild Mint, by Jess Housty (Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2023) $19.95 / 9780889714502

What is the role of art?

The Compassionate Imagination: How the arts are central to a functioning democracyby Max Wyman Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2023$19.95  /  9781770866997 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * What is the point–honestly–of putting a lot of energy into discussing the connection between “art” on the one hand and society on the other?  Well, Plato seemed to think it…
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When there are no words

A Dream in the Eye: The Complete Paintings and Collages of Phyllis Webb edited by Stephen Collis Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2023 $39.95  /  9781772014334 Reviewed by Mary Ann Moore * Artist Georgia O’Keeffe said she could say things with colour and shapes that she couldn’t say any other way – things she had no words for….
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Meditative, impressionistic, awe-inspiring

“Readers of Kogawa’s poetry are privy to a singular pleasure…” Marguerite Pigeon reviews From the Lost and Found Department: New and Selected Poems, by Joy Kogawa (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2023) $18.00 / 9780771005138

Everyday as endearing

Post-Modern Mini-Comics by Colin Upton Wolfville, NS: Conundrum Press, 2023 $10  /  9781772620849 Reviewed by Jeffrey Stychin * Who is Colin Upton? An outcast, a punk, a nomad, a pioneer, a realist, a savant, a regular human faced with the problems of everyday life filled with nuances and trivialities? The choice is up to you,…
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Story collection features whimsy and wit

Ten Stories that Worried My Mother by Winona Kent New Westminster: Blue Devil Books, 2023 $14.99 / 9781777329495 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Best known as a writer of cozy mystery novels, New Westminster’s Winona Kent has organized this eclectic collection of mostly previously published works (dating from the early 1980s to the 2020s)  chronologically….
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From Alberta to Italy, in recovery

Grazie by Lucia Frangione  Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2023 $21.95  / 9781772015089  Reviewed by Candace Fertile * Lucia Frangione’s debut novel, Grazie, captures how loss devastates the main character, Graziana or Grazie, who has mostly given up on life, even though she has a seven-year-old daughter, Hazel. The child desperately needs someone to notice and take care…
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1971 ‘Her new painterly expression’

A Dream in the Eye: The Complete Paintings and Collages of Phyllis Webb edited by Stephen Collis Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2023 $59.95  /  9781772014747 Reviewed by Jane Frankish * A Dream in the Eye: The Complete Paintings and Collages of Phyllis Webb, edited by Stephen Collis, is a sumptious presentation of Phyllis Webb’s visual output, accompanied…
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1970 Calling Graduate Liberal Studies

Attention students in Graduate Liberal Studies at Simon Fraser University! * Since 2018, students in the Graduate Liberal Studies programme at Simon Fraser University have contributed numerous essays, memoirs, poems, and book reviews to The British Columbia Review. We at the BC Review are delighted to maintain a productive collaboration with the GLS community, as…
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1961 Illustrating logging camp life

The Rangitangs: Life on the Edge – A Humorous Look at Coastal Loggers Float-camp Life from the 1920s to 1950s by Mike Whalen Self-published by Mike Whalen, 2023 $40.00 (soft cover)  /  978173885723 Reviewed by Matthew Downey * Inspired by the cartoon collection from which it draws its name, The Rangitangs: Life on the Edge is…
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1958 Shades and perplexities of blue

Sapphire and the Hollow Bone by Diana Hayes Victoria: Ekstasis Editions, 2023 $23.95 / 9781771715192 Reviewed by gillian harding-russell * Meditative and elegiac in its imagery and moods and finding resonances in mythology, Diana Hayes’ Sapphire and the Hollow Bone is imbued with the colour blue. Whether such details as the cherished gift of a “star…
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1935 United through art

Bloom Where You Are Planted: 50 Conversations with Inspiring British Columbians by Beka Shane Denter Victoria: Heritage House Publishing, 2022 $39.95  /  9781772034295 Reviewed by Valerie Green * This book by Beka Shane Denter is an inspirational collection of interviews in the form of Q&As with photographs, of a group of fifty (forty-nine women and…
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1934 Isolation, grief, poetics, birdsong

Wrack Line by M.W. Jaeggle Regina: University of Regina Press, 2023 $19.95 /9780889779532 Reviewed by Joe Enns * Wrack Line, M.W. Jaeggle’s debut book of poetry, examines life in consideration of transitions and liminal distances “as crucial as the space / between prayer beads.” Jaeggle uses the wrack line—the area of seashore where organic material and…
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