Biography

1152 A career in postwar medicine

Improbable Journeys: From Crossing the Himalayas on Horseback to a Career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology by Dr. Bernard A.O. Binns and Ron Smith Oakville, ON: Rock’s Mills Press, 2020 $29.95 / 9781772441932 Reviewed by John Kenwright * Editor’s note: Occasionally we run two reviews of the same book at The British Columbia Review. May Q….
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1148 Morality, poison & infanticide

The Trial of Jeanne Catherine: Infanticide in Early Modern Geneva by Sara Beam Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9781487587673 Reviewed by John Lepage * Historians are usually careful to establish the relevance of their publications. It is part of the ongoing program of history’s defence of itself as a field of study…
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1140 Bushman Bjornstrom of Shuswap

The Bushman’s Lair: On the Trail of the Fugitive of the Shuswap by Paul McKendrick Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $22.95 / 9781550179224 Reviewed by Sage Birchwater * In the early 2000s the Bushman of the Shuswap was on the national news. More of a nuisance than a menace perhaps. He lived off the avails…
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1139 The late Wa’xaid: Cecil Paul

Stories from the Magic Canoe of Wa’xaid by Cecil Paul as told to Briony Penn Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2019 $30.00 / 9781771602952 * Following the Good River: The Life and Times of Wa’xaid by Briony Penn with Cecil Paul Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 $38.00 / 9781771603218 Both books reviewed by hagwil hayetsk Charles…
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1137 Resurrecting Indigenous voices

Resilience Through Writing: A Bibliographic Guide to Indigenous-Authored Publications in the Pacific Northwest before 1960 by Robert E. Walls, edited by Darby C. Stapp Richland, WA: Journal of Northwestern Anthropology, Memoir 20, January 2021 $34.95 (U.S.) / 9798566579900 Reviewed by John Lutz * The very quotable English essayist Charles Lamb wrote that bibliographies are “books…
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1115 An artist in the wreckage of war

I Can Only Paint: The Story of Battlefield Artist Mary Riter Hamilton by Irene Gammel Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 2020 $49.95 / 9780228003915 Reviewed by Robert Amos * Mary Riter Hamilton was a Canadian artist born in Culross, Ontario in 1867. Following a difficult childhood she was married at 21 and widowed at…
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1108 The Lower Foster Lake mystery

Cold Case North: The Search for James Brady and Absolom Halkett by Michael Nest with Deanna Reder and Eric Bell Regina: University of Regina Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9780889777491 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Editor’s note: I’m delighted to have heard today (January 3, 2022) that the film and tv rights to Cold Case North:…
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1107 Page’s plays and fairy tales

Metamorphosis: Selected Children’s Literature by P.K. Page, edited by Margaret Steffler Erin, Ontario: Porcupine’s Quill, 2020 $22.95 / 9780889844322 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * To be clear: P.K. Page (1916-2010) did write a number of delightful books for children, but this volume is not one of them. Not that this book is not delightful; it is,…
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1105 Lives of Victoria sex workers

Victoria Unbuttoned: A Red-Light History of BC’s Capital City by Linda J. Eversole Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2021 $20.00 / 9781771513388 Reviewed by Patrick A. Dunae * For over a century, Victoria, British Columbia has promoted itself as a city of gardens, as a haven for genteel tourists and wealthy retirees. But as Linda Eversole reminds…
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1104 The call of the East Kootenay

ORMSBY REVIEW PRESS: Frederick Paget Norbury, Chapter Two: Push and Pull: Tommy Norbury and Emigration by Brenda Callaghan * Editor’s note: we are pleased to present Chapter 2 of Brenda Callaghan’s hitherto unpublished biography, Frederick Paget Norbury, Remittance Man or Gentleman Immigrant? The Story of an Englishman in Canada. Earlier in 2021 we published  the…
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1089 A lifetime of care and medicine

Improbable Journeys: From Crossing the Himalayas on Horseback to a Career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology by Dr. Bernard A.O. Binns and Ron Smith Oakville, ON: Rock’s Mills Press, 2020 $29.95 / 9781772441932 Reviewed by May Q. Wong * Editor’s note: for a subsequent review of Improbable Journeys by John Kenwright, see The Ormsby Review, June…
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1086 The voice of Gwich’in Elders

Gwich’in K’yuu Gwiidandài’ Tthak Ejuk Gòonlih: Our Whole Gwich’in Way of Life Has Changed: Stories from the People of the Land by Leslie McCartney and Gwich’in Tribal Council Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2020 $99.99 / 9781772124828 Reviewed by Daniel Sims * “Publish or perish” is an axiom of professional academics, especially those employed by…
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1085 A balanced cultural herstory

Hearing More Voices: English-Canadian Women in Print and on the Air, 1914-1960 by Peggy Lynn Kelly and Carole Gerson Ottawa: Borealis Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781896133713 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * As a library school student in the mid 1970s I was told that Anne of Green Gables could not be considered a Canadian classic;…
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1072 Healing through creativity

 A Whisper Across Time: My Family’s Story of the Holocaust told through Art & Poetry by Olga Campbell Vancouver: Jubaji Press, 2018, distributed by Red Toque Books. To purchase see here $31.95 / 9780981291123 Reviewed by Claire Sicherman * I first met visual artist and author Olga Campbell in 2019 at Vancouver’s Jewish Community Centre,…
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1069 Island women in the spotlight

On Their Own Terms: True Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island by Haley Healey Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 $9.95 / 9781772033250 Reviewed by Lynne Bowen * Vancouver Island attracts a certain type of person: a person who has chosen to live separate from convention, or from family, or from boredom, or from the past…
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1067 The uncertainty of Anne Carson

ESSAY: Anne Carson: Ambiguity, Uncertainty, Ecstasy by Bob Foulkes * On an otherwise ordinary day in 1965, a precocious, eccentric fifteen year-old discovered a book in the sales bin of a Coles bookstore, a serious tome by Willis Barnstone on Sappho the famous ancient Greek poet. The book was bilingual — ancient Greek and English,…
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1059 Tribute to Beverley McLachlin

Beverley McLachlin: The Legacy of a Supreme Court Chief Justice by Ian Greene and Peter McCormick Toronto: James Lorimer & Company, 2019 $29.95 / 9781459414402 * Truth Be Told: The Story of My Life and My Fight for Equality by Beverley McLachlin Toronto: Simon & Schuster, 2020 $24.95 / 9781982104979 Both books reviewed by May…
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1055 Hodgson of the Arctic

Umingmak: Stuart Hodgson and the Birth of the Modern Arctic by Jake Ootes New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2020 $29.95 / 9781777010102 Reviewed by Dylan Burrows * “Going North” is an expression laden with expectation. Uninvited guests, Canadians trespass upon occupied Indigenous lands; they enact their desires on territory they imagine as uninhabited. In Umingmak: Stuart…
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