Asian Canadian

1813 Welcome Trevor and Brett

Welcome Trevor and Brett by Richard Mackie * On behalf of the Board of the Ormsby Literary Society and our Advisory Board I’d like to welcome Trevor Marc Hughes and Brett Josef Grubisic as interim editors of The British Columbia Review for the year May 1, 2023 to May 1, 2024. The position was made possible…
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1810 Intrigue, then and now

Ruby Red Skies by Taslim Burkowicz Halifax and Winnipeg: Roseway Publishing an imprint of Fernwood Publishing, 2022 $24.00 / 9781773635606 Reviewed by Steven Brown * Ruby is not happy. She feels taken for granted by both husband and daughter. Her opinions don’t matter. Her husband talks down to her, openly mocks her, is oblivious to…
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1799 Secret of the North Shore woods

Forgotten Things: The Story of the Seymour Valley Archaeology Project by Robert J. Muckle Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2022 $24.95  /  9781487588526 Reviewed by Daniel Francis * During the decades between the two world wars a small number of Nikkei (i.e. Japanese-Canadian) loggers lived with their families deep in the woods on the North…
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1788 Chinese daughters and mothers

Superfan: How Pop Culture Broke My Heart. A Memoir by Jen Sookfong Lee Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (McClelland & Stewart), 2023 $24.96 / 9780771025211 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * A rather unfortunate acquaintance of mine suffers, periodically, from foot in mouth disease. It’s not her fault — but it’s not not her fault, either…
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1757 Announcing interview series

Announcing the BC Review interview series by Richard Mackie * In November 2022, at the most recent board meeting of the Ormsby Literary Society, the chair, Byron Sheardown, suggested that we open a YouTube channel and start an interview series. Board member Trevor Marc Hughes jumped at the suggestion. “I’ve got filmmaking experience,” he said,…
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1753 Chinatown comes alive

Chinese Victoria: A Long and Difficult Journey by John Adams Victoria: Discover the Past, 2022 $80.00 / 97809973124125 Reviewed by Robert Amos To obtain a copy of Chinese Victoria, contact Discover the Past, 634 Battery Street, Victoria V8V 1E5. price $80 + $4 GST = $84.00 * A book about Victoria’s Chinatown is sure to…
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1747 A lovely sense of place & time

The Porcelain Moon: A Novel of France, the Great War, and Forbidden Love by Janie Chang Toronto: HarperCollins Canada (William Morrow), 2023 $24.99  /  9780063072862 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * While historical romance is not my preferred genre, I was immediately gripped by Janie Chang’s fourth novel, The Porcelain Moon, not so much for the…
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1723 The forgotten Chinese

Hard Is the Journey: Stories of Chinese Settlement in British Columbia’s Kootenay by Lily Chow Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $26.00  /  9781773860749 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Looking Deeper into History: The Trails of Chinese Immigrants Revealed in the Kootenays What a pleasant surprise to see Cameron Mah on the first page of Lily…
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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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