Black writers & topics

#569 Superscript and sexual tension

Reproduction by Ian Williams Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada, 2019 $35.00 / 9780735274051 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * On September 3, 2019, Ian Williams’ debut novel Reproduction was longlisted for the ScotiaBank Giller Prize and later that month was one of six books shortlisted for the prize. Williams, of UBC, was announced as the winner…
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#520 Somewhere inside the rainbow

The Afrikaner by Arianna Dagnino Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2019 $20.00  /  9781771833578 Reviewed by Alan Twigg * In Arianna Dagnino’s The Afrikaner, a brave and resilient woman ventures to the Kalahari Desert to find her place in Rainbow Nation. The novel arises from the author’s five-year stint as a journalist in South Africa during the…
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#513 Victoria’s secret: diversity

City in Colour: Rediscovered Stories of Victoria’s Multicultural Past by May Q. Wong Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2018 $22.00 / 9781771512855 Reviewed by Tom Koppel * When I was a kid, my father took me on a brief visit to Victoria. Part of the attraction, for him, was that he’d heard the city described as the…
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#511 Gold, gamblers, and greenhorns

Gold Rush Manliness: Race and Gender on the Pacific Slope by Christopher Herbert Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018 $30.00 (U.S.) / 9780295744131 Reviewed by Robert Hogg * Christopher Herbert has added to the considerable literature on gender in colonial societies, and of frontier masculinities in particular, as well as to the historiography of race,…
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#465 Urgent flight to the Congo

White by Deni Ellis Béchard Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2018 $19.95 / 9781772012088 Reviewed by Paul Headrick First published Jan. 15, 2019 * The narrator of White has a dramatic CV: freelance war reporter, novelist, and memoirist. It’s a background that closely matches the author’s, even down to the contents of their memoirs. Béchard’s explores his difficult…
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#412 Vancouver jazz scene

Live at the Cellar: Vancouver’s Iconic Jazz Cub and the Canadian Co-operative Jazz Scene in the 1950s and ‘60s by Marian Jago, foreword by Don Thompson Vancouver: UBC Press, 2018 $29.95 / 9780774837699 Reviewed by Brian Fraser First published November 02, 2018 * Good books on jazz are filled with intriguing stories about the relationships…
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#320 An East Vancouver childhood

Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir by Chelene Knight Toronto: Book*hug, 2018 $20.00  /  9781771663908 Reviewed by Jennifer Chutter First published June 13, 2018 * Amidst the swirl of media reports of rising housing prices, empty houses, and increased property taxes, Chelene Knight’s Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir offers a rare and nuanced view of what…
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#187 Brother, where art thou?

First published October 23, 2017 Brother Toronto: Penguin Random House (McClelland & Stewart), 2017 by David Chariandy $25 hc ISBN 978-0-7710-2290-6 reviewed by Cherie Thiessen * The only author nominated for both the Giller and Rogers Writers Trust Fiction awards in 2017 is David Chariandy, whose second novel, Brother, concerns two siblings growing up in…
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