History (B.C.)

#151 Taking care of stories

Chilcotin Chronicles: Stories of Adventure and Intrigue from British Columbia’s Central Interior by Sage Birchwater Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2017 $26.95  /  9781987915334 Reviewed by Lorraine Weir First published August 10, 2017 * Sage Birchwater credits playwright Gwen Pharis Ringwood with urging him to keep a record of his travels on the Chilcotin Plateau –…
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#150 Camelot and the waste land

First published July 12, 2017 REVIEW: Walking to Camelot: A Pilgrimage through the Heart of Rural England by John A. Cherrington Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2016. $22.95  /  978-1-927958-62-9 Reviewed by John Gellard John Cherrrington takes a 365-mile hike through southern England on public footpaths. * From Figure 1 comes John Cherrington’s Walking to Camelot, an…
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#145 Pnina’s three lives

Light Within the Shadows: A Painter’s Memoir by Pnina Granirer Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2017 $24.95  /  9781926997849 Reviewed by Janet Mary Nicol First published June 29, 2017 * Pnina Granirer was creative from an early age, but she didn’t come in to her own artistically until the “third act” of her life journey. This…
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#141 Retrieving Noel from obscurity

Abenaki Daring: The Life and Writings of Noel Annance, 1792-1869 by Jean Barman Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016 $45.95  /  9780773547926 Reviewed by Michel Bouchard First published June 21, 2017 * Too often, scholars must do their best to distill the thoughts and narratives of the destitute, downtrodden, or the illiterate through the…
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#140 Joy Kogawa’s reflections

First published June 17, 2017 REVIEW: Gently to Nagasaki: A Spiritual Pilgrimage, an Exploration Both Communal and Intensely Personal By Joy Kogawa Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2016. $24.95 978-1-987915-15-0 Reviewed by Patricia E. Roy The librarian who provided the Cataloguing in Publication information gave Joy Kogawa’s Gently to Nagasaki a call number in the 800s…
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#139 Perfection is hard work

First published June 15, 2017 REVIEW: The Promise of Paradise: Utopian Communities in British Columbia By Andrew Scott Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2017. $24.95  /  978-1-55017-771-8 Reviewed by Keith Norbury   Five centuries ago, when Thomas More conceived of a fictional perfect society, he named it Utopia, from a Greek word meaning “nowhere.” Three-and-half centuries later,…
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#137 Glimpses of pre-Expo Vancouver

Under Vancouver 1972-1982 by Greg Girard, with interviews by William Gibson and David Campany Toronto: The Magenta Foundation, 2017 $50.00  /  9781926856100 Reviewed by Bill Jeffries * Born in 1955, Greg Girard grew up in Burnaby and started photographing Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in 1972, when he was still in high school. Girard moved to Hong…
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#135 The W̱SÁNEĆ revisited

The W̱SÁNEĆ and Their Neighbours: Diamond Jenness on the Coast Salish of Vancouver Island, 1935 by Diamond Jenness. Edited and with an introduction by Barnett Richling Oakville, Ontario: Rock’s Mills Press, 2017 $24.95.  /   9781772440362 Reviewed by Chris Arnett Revised June 2020 * The overlooked ethnographic work of New Zealand-born Diamond Jenness (1886-1969) has been…
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#132 The demise of Vancouver

2050: A Post-Apocalyptic Murder Mystery by Michael Kluckner Vancouver: Midtown Press, 2016 $19.95  /  9781988242187 Reviewed by Mark James Dunn First published May 30, 2017 * Vancouver historian, artist and illustrator Michael Kluckner has turned his eclectic talents in recent years to graphic novels, starting in 2015 with Toshiko, a remaking of Romeo and Juliet…
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#131 The last great centennial

The Year Canadians Lost Their Minds and Found Their Country: The Centennial of 1967 by Tom Hawthorn Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017 $26.95  /  9781771621502 Reviewed by Forrest D. Pass First published May 27, 2017 * Tom Hawthorn collects groovy images of 1967 and recreates Canada’s centennial zeitgeist in The Year Canadians Lost Their…
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#128 Fred Herzog’s genius

Fred Herzog: Modern Color texts by David Campany, Hans-Michael Koetzle, Jeff Wall Berlin: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2016 €38.00  /  9783775741811 Reviewed by Bill Jeffries First published May 22, 2017 * Fred Herzog, who is 87 years old in 2017, had to wait until 2011 for a substantial book (Fred Herzog Photographs, Douglas & McIntyre) illustrating…
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#127 Postcards from unknown soldier

Postcards from unknown soldier by Sandi Ratch First published May 2, 2017 * Faced with a handful of family postcards signed only by “Dick,” Sandi Ratch gave herself a detective quest: to identify the messenger who had gone to continental Europe to fight in World War I. In this Ormsby exclusive, Sandi Ratch relates the…
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#125 To the end of Ron Brown’s line

Rails Over the Mountains: Exploring the Railway Heritage of Canada’s Western Mountains by Ron Brown Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2016. $29.99  /  978145973359 Reviewed by Les Kozma First published April 26, 2017 * Over the past twenty years or so Brown has authored a plethora of books about railways and railroading in Canada. Rails Over the…
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#124 Banning Indigenous apples, 1916

ESSAY: Chief Tetlenitsa’s Apples: Commercializing Indigenous Horticulture in British Columbia, 1907-1916 by Michael Sasges First published April 25, 2017 * In 1916, orchardist Chief John Tetlenitsa of  Spences Bridge took a wagon of 40 boxes of apples into Merritt, the new town in the Nicola Valley, only to have the Chief Constable seize the apples…
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#122 River-as-machine vs ecosytem

A River Captured: The Columbia River Treaty and Catastrophic Change by Eileen Delehanty Pearkes Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2016 $20  /  9781771601788 Reviewed by John Gellard First published April 20, 2017 * Previously, in her Harnessing The Power: Voices from Two Rivers of the Peace and Columbia (Douglas & McIntyre, 2012), Meg Stanley assessed the…
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#119 Bike ride & Art Deco

REVIEW: Lost Vancouver: an Unexpected Art Deco Tour An exhibit at Space Gallery at 552 Clark Drive, Vancouver Reviewed by Michael Kluckner * Between April 11 and April 23 2018, Space Gallery hosts an exhibit, Lost Vancouver: an Unexpected Art Deco Tour. Michael Kluckner, who visited the exhibit for The Ormsby Review, appraises the work of…
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#118 Grubstake angel

Gold Rush Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Nellie Cashman by Thora Kerr Illing Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2016 $18.95  /  9781771511599 Reviewed by Charlene Porsild First published April 11, 2017 * Thora Illing’s Gold Rush Queen retells the life and times of Nellie Cashman, a beautiful, Irish-American businesswoman, entrepreneur, philanthropist, champion dog musher and lifelong spinster…
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