Asian Canadian

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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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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Mourning rites in Ancient China

ESSAY: Mourning and Burial Rites in Ancient China: A Grief Process by Dorothy Dittrich * Death is part of life, as are the feelings of grief, sorrow and anxiety that follow the loss of a loved one. While coming to terms with death and coping with loss may be part of living, the feelings that…
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1330 Three decades ago in Asia

Under the Bright Sky: A Memoir of Travels through Asia by Andrew Scott Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9781773860619 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Andrew Scott has assembled a highly readable, often fascinating collection of stories about three decades of travel around Asia, from Japan to Turkey. I particularly appreciated his observation…
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1296 The father he had never met

The Rebellious Tide by Eddy Boudel Tan Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2021 $21.99 / 9781459746879 Reviewed by Miranda Marini * In his sophomore novel, The Rebellious Tide, Eddy Boudel Tan immerses the reader into the complexities of the human condition evidenced through the characters’ interpersonal relationships as well as their struggles with identity, discrimination, and social…
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