Book Reviews

A Canadian’s life on the road

Chasing Africa: Fear Won’t Find Me Here – A Memoirby Lisa Duncan Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2022$25.00  /  9781771605816 Reviewed by Isabel Nanton * In her memoir of time spent as a 24-year-old in South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Zanzibar for three-and-a-half-months in 1996, Squamish-based author Lisa Duncan reveals much that is interesting…
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‘Strands of a life’

Landbridge [life in fragments] by Y-Dang Troeung Toronto: Alchemy by Knopf Canada, 2023 $35.00  /  9781039008762 Reviewed by Theresa Kishkan * When I opened this beautifully-designed book, with its cover drawings of delicate buds of kapok (in Khmer, Y-Dang Troeung tells us, planting a kapok tree, which makes no sound in the wind, is an…
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When there are no words

A Dream in the Eye: The Complete Paintings and Collages of Phyllis Webb edited by Stephen Collis Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2023 $39.95  /  9781772014334 Reviewed by Mary Ann Moore * Artist Georgia O’Keeffe said she could say things with colour and shapes that she couldn’t say any other way – things she had no words for….
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Meditative, impressionistic, awe-inspiring

“Readers of Kogawa’s poetry are privy to a singular pleasure…” Marguerite Pigeon reviews From the Lost and Found Department: New and Selected Poems, by Joy Kogawa (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2023) $18.00 / 9780771005138

Everyday as endearing

Post-Modern Mini-Comics by Colin Upton Wolfville, NS: Conundrum Press, 2023 $10  /  9781772620849 Reviewed by Jeffrey Stychin * Who is Colin Upton? An outcast, a punk, a nomad, a pioneer, a realist, a savant, a regular human faced with the problems of everyday life filled with nuances and trivialities? The choice is up to you,…
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Horror at 48 Ford Crescent

Tear by Erica McKeen Toronto: Invisible Books, 2022 $22.95 / 9781778430060 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * When Frances moves into 48 Ford Crescent with her roommates Ky, Katie, and Reese she knows that something is wrong with the house. This line from the first chapter explains her apprehension very well and sets the tone for…
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BC Review Annual Fundraiser

BC Review Annual Fundraiser A note from Richard Mackie *  Dear friends, supporters, and readers of The British Columbia Review: On behalf of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board of The British Columbia Review, I must remind readers of our continuing need for financial support. This request for private donations is done annually to keep…
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Educating educators

Wayi Wah!: Indigenous Pedagogies: An Act for Reconciliation and Anti-Racist Education by Jo Chrona Winnipeg: Portage & Main Press, 2022 $32.00  /  9781774920466 by Ken Favrholdt * Jo Chrona uses a rallying cry for her book: Wayi Wah!  (Let’s go; it’s time!) It is time to make education a force in reconciliation. This is the…
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Story collection features whimsy and wit

Ten Stories that Worried My Mother by Winona Kent New Westminster: Blue Devil Books, 2023 $14.99 / 9781777329495 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Best known as a writer of cozy mystery novels, New Westminster’s Winona Kent has organized this eclectic collection of mostly previously published works (dating from the early 1980s to the 2020s)  chronologically….
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From Alberta to Italy, in recovery

Grazie by Lucia Frangione  Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2023 $21.95  / 9781772015089  Reviewed by Candace Fertile * Lucia Frangione’s debut novel, Grazie, captures how loss devastates the main character, Graziana or Grazie, who has mostly given up on life, even though she has a seven-year-old daughter, Hazel. The child desperately needs someone to notice and take care…
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‘Trek by father and son’

The Boy and the Mountain: A Father, His Son, and a Journey of Discovery  By Torbjørn Ekelund (Translated by Becky L. Crook) Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2023 $27.95  /  9781771645096 Reviewed by Ron Dart * The Boy and the Mountain was originally published in Norwegian in 2017 and translated into English in 2023. Ekelund has, thus…
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1975 Ghoulish K-pop teen horror!!

Gorgeous Gruesome Faces by Linda Cheng New York: MacMillan/Roaring Brook Press, 2023 $26.99 / 9781250864994 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * All that glitters is likelier ghoul than gold in Linda Cheng’s K-pop-inspired debut novel, Gorgeous Gruesome Faces.  Cheng was born in Taiwan, though much of her adolescence was spent moving between different cultures and continents….
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1974 Marathon man like no other

Outsider: An Old Man, a Mountain and the Search for a Hidden Past by Brett Popplewell  Toronto: Harper Collins, 2023 $25.99 / 9781443457859 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * British Columbia has long been a magnet for eccentric new settlers with mysterious backgrounds who come here seeking to reinvent themselves. Thanks to an investigative journalist from Ontario,…
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