Asian Canadian

1637 Time regained

The Lost Century by Larissa Lai Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022 $24.95 / 9781551528977 Reviewed by Hanako Masutani * “Don’t you read your history books!” Violet Mah, a retired medical doctor and part-time narrator of The Lost Century, berates her niece, a proxy for the reader. Larissa Lai’s latest novel opens in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant…
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1589 The empty spaces of love

Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (McClelland and Stewart), 2021 $22.00 / 9780771096488 Reviewed by Michelle Ha * “How do you grieve, if your family doesn’t talk about feelings?” This is a question that I feel like many children of immigrants can relate to, and most may have asked themselves as…
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1557 Better than real life

Kuroko a play by Tetsuro Shigematsu Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2020 $18.95 / 9781772012699 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * I wouldn’t liken making fun of Tolstoy to a sport, but it is, surely, a reliable source of amusement, which likely sounds disrespectful; therein lies the amusement. All that to say, when Tolstoy wrote “All happy families are…
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1547 Grannies glue the text

China’s Grandmothers. Gender, Family and Ageing from Late Qing to Twenty-First Century by Diana Lary Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022 $33.95 / 9781009064781 Reviewed by Isabel Nanton * In a China-West binary, Diana Lary, Professor Emerita of Modern Chinese History at the University of British Columbia, blends in her latest — and she says her…
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1504 Lisa: a ray of hope

Close to the Bone: A Memoir by Lisa Ray Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Doubleday Canada), 2020 $24.95 / 9780385695725 Reviewed by Gurpreet Singh * A powerful memoir by a multifaceted personality, a supermodel, an actor, a cancer survivor, a traveller and a born writer restores faith in life and humanity in these difficult times….
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1477 A book was the least I could do

From Nazneen to Naina: 20 years of Kareena Kapoor Khan in Bollywood by Gurpreet Singh Ludhiana, India: Chetna Parkashan, 2021 $14.99 (US) / 9789391530433 Reviewed by Harpreet Singh Sekha * A unique book on Bollywood Diva that showcases what India is going through under a right wing regime BC-based author and journalist Gurpreet Singh has…
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1464 Chinatown settlers and letters

Occupying Chinatown by Paul Wong Vancouver: On Main Gallery, 2021 $80.00 / 9780969477778 Reviewed by May Q Wong * In this limited-edition clothbound book, the reader will share a personal journey with world-renowned artist Paul Wong, who pays homage to his mother and family, and by extension, the early Chinese immigrants who established Vancouver’s Chinatown….
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1453 What would Valerie do?

Made in Korea by Sarah Suk Toronto: Simon & Schuster Canada, 2021 $24.99 / 9781534474376 Reviewed by Michelle Ha * Meet Valerie Kwon, an ambitious young teenager in her senior year at Crescent Brook High, who runs a successful student business, V&C K-BEAUTY, with her cousin Charlie Song. All has been well with their business…
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1447 Memoirs, scripts, subtexts

The Colour of God by Ayesha S. Chaudhry Toronto: Simon and Schuster Canada (Oneworld Publications), 2021 $30.00 / 9781786079251 Reviewed by Jessica Poon Note: Ayesha Chaudhry’s The Colour of God was previously reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * I know a journalist who balks at the word memoir. Though it would be easy to cynically quip about the…
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1432 Sophia Chang and the Big Apple

The Baddest Bitch in the Room: A Memoir by Sophia Chang New York: Catapult, 2021 $17.95 (U.S.) / 9781646220816 Reviewed by LiLynn Wan * The essence of autobiography is in creating identity, and Sophia Chang’s memoir, The Baddest Bitch in the Room, does just that. By writing her life story, she asserts: “I am defining…
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1405 Colonialism corrective

TELEVISION DOCUSERIES REVIEW: British Columbia: An Untold History by Kevin Eastwood, Writer and Director Burnaby: British Columbia’s Knowledge Network, 2022 Reviewed by Patrick A. Dunae * Knowledge Network, ‘British Columbia’s public educational broadcaster,’ has produced a compelling documentary series entitled British Columbia: An Untold History. The production qualities are superb. Each episode of the four-part…
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1379 Bill Hong & the Cariboo Mountains

…And So…That’s How it Happened: Recollections of Stanley-Barkerville, 1900-1975 by W.M. (Bill) Hong. Originally edited by J.R.S. Hambly, updated by Gordon Lee, edited by Gary and Eileen Seale Quesnel: Spartan Printing, 1978; fifth Printing January 2018 by Blueline Graphics, Coquitlam [price to follow] / 9780987365004 Available at Frog on the Bog Gifts, Wells, BC Review…
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1367 Philippine style

The Cine Star Salon: a novel by Leah Ranada Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2021 $21.95 / 9781774390320 Reviewed by W.H. New * This first novel by Leah Ranada is a contemporary version of an old trope, the growing-up-and-away novel, where the protagonist has to find out how to be herself, stop depending on others, deal with…
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1365 A journey from South Africa

Race, Culture, and Politics in Education: A Global Journey From South Africa by Kogila Moodley, with an afterword by Sonia Nieto Columbia University: Teachers College Press, 2020 $34.95 (U.S.) / 9780807764886 Reviewed by Isabel Nanton * A successful blend of personal memoir and insights culled from an extensive academic career, Kogila Moodley’s book, which forms…
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