History (B.C.)

#167 Janet Smith & Wong Foon Sing

The White Angel by John MacLachlan Gray Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017 $29.95 / 9781771621465 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy First published Sept. 8, 2017 * The challenges of writing historical fiction are manifold. Writers must capture both the exterior (surface and sociological details of a time they know only through research) and the interior…
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#166 Three platters of Charles Edenshaw

Entering Time: The Fungus Man Platters of Charles Edenshaw by Colin Browne Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2016 $19.95 / 9781772010398 Reviewed by Alan L. Hoover First published September 8, 2017 * Charles Edenshaw (c. 1867-1920) is perhaps the most recognized and acclaimed Northwest Coast Indigenous artist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. An outstanding feature…
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#165 Alaska Highway before GPS

Beyond Mile Zero: The Vanishing Alaska Highway Lodge Community by Lily Gontard (text) and Mark Kelly (photographs) Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2017 $24.95  /  9781550177978 Reviewed by Heather Longworth Sjoblom First published September 6, 2017 * 2017 marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the construction of the Alaska Highway through British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alaska. Throughout…
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#163 When the rubber hit the road

British Columbia by the Road: Car Culture and the Making of a Modern Landscape by Ben Bradley Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017 $34.95  /  9780774834193 Reviewed by Daniel Francis * In 2013 a septet of Canadian historians calling themselves The Past Collective published a study which contradicted the hoary old cliche that Canadians do not know…
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#162 The sisters of war

First published August 30, 2017 REVIEW: War Torn Exchanges: The Lives and Letters of Nursing Sisters Laura Holland and Mildred Forbes by Andrea McKenzie (editor). Vancouver: UBC Press, 2016. $32.95  /  9780774832540 * REVIEW: Sister Soldiers of the Great War: The Nurses of the Canadian Army Medical Corps by Cynthia Toman Vancouver: UBC Press 2016. $34.95  / …
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#158 A province of non-believers

First Published August 19, 2017 REVIEW: Infidels and the Damn Churches: Irreligion and Religion in Settler British Columbia by Lynne Marks Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017.  $34.95  /  9780774833462 Reviewed by Chelsea Horton *   More British Columbians self-identify as secular than do the populations of any other province in Canada today. And, historian Lynne Marks illustrates…
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#152 Getting spidey in Victoria

Victoria’s Most Haunted: Ghost Stories from BC’s Historic Capital City by Ian Gibbs Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2017 $19.95  /  9781771512138 Reviewed by Peter Grant First published August 13, 2017 * The standard general histories of the Victoria, most of them by popular (non-academic) historians, are now almost half a century old. These are: Derek Pethick’s…
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#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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