Rage + sin = freedom

Exceptional essays “elicit gasps, induce chills.” —Brett Josef Grubisic reviews Dinner on Monster Island: Essays, by Tania De Rozario (Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2024) $17.99 / 9780063299665

‘To the possibilities and pitfalls’

“…Randy Lee Cutler and Ingrid Koenig, two respected professors at Emily Carr University, received a major research grant to work with scientists at TRIUMF, Canada’s principal centre for particle physics research.” John O’Brian reviews Leaning Out of Windows: An Art and Physics Collaboration edited by Randy Lee Cutler and Ingrid Koenig (Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2023) $45 ISBN 9781773272177

Singing ‘bout revolution

A “lively musical and political education” for readers young and old. —Ron Verzuh reviews Rise Up and Sing!: Power, Protest and Activism in Music, by Andrea Warner (illustrated by Louise Reimer) (Vancouver: Greystone Kids, 2023) $26.95 / 9781771648981

Thank you, donors!

Happy new year! I’m pleased to report that, so far, 113 donors have responded to the annual fundraiser we kicked off in November 2023.

Hard knock lives, revisited

Two poets tackle social margins and underbellies. —Joe Enns reviews A Brief Relief From Hunger, by Spenser Smith (Guelph: Gordon Hill Press, 2023) $20.00 / 9781774220986 and Fishing for Leviathan, by Rodney DeCroo (Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2023) $18.00 / 9781772142136

For youth facing climate change

“Informing her adolescent readers but not leaving them feeling helpless is a delicate balance that Ridge achieves…” Ginny Ratsoy reviews Evolution under Pressure: How we Change Nature and How Nature Changes Us by Yolanda Ridge (Toronto: Annick Press, 2023) $17.99 / 9781773217529

No. 2000 for the BC Review!

When we launched The British Columbia Review — then The Ormsby Review — in September 2016, little did we expect that seven years later we’d post our 2000th review. I’m grateful to everyone — reviewers, publishers, authors, booksellers, and readers — for making it such a success and promoting BC writers, writing, and culture. It…
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What is the role of art?

The Compassionate Imagination: How the arts are central to a functioning democracyby Max Wyman Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2023$19.95  /  9781770866997 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * What is the point–honestly–of putting a lot of energy into discussing the connection between “art” on the one hand and society on the other?  Well, Plato seemed to think it…
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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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1970 Calling Graduate Liberal Studies

Attention students in Graduate Liberal Studies at Simon Fraser University! * Since 2018, students in the Graduate Liberal Studies programme at Simon Fraser University have contributed numerous essays, memoirs, poems, and book reviews to The British Columbia Review. We at the BC Review are delighted to maintain a productive collaboration with the GLS community, as…
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1921 Treasures from the past

Time to Wonder – Volume 2. A Kid’s Guide to BC’s Regional Museums: Vancouver Island, Salt Spring, Alert Bay, and Haida Gwaii by S. Lesley Buxton and Sue Harper Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2022 $22.00  /  9781771605069 Reviewed by Valerie Green * In view of the recent closure of Point Ellice House and Gardens in…
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1913 Back to school

TL;DR: A Very Brief Guide to Reading and Writing in University by Joel Heng Hartse Vancouver: UBC Press, 2023 $24.95 / 9780774839143 (paperback) Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * There’s been a revolution in the teaching of composition.  In my day (but this was back in another century) the focus was on The Essay, or what…
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1900 Learning more than she could teach

Red Dust and Cicada Songs by Mary Bomford Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $26.00  /  9781773860916 Reviewed by Isabel Nanton * African memoirs continue to enjoy a reading vogue with Mary Bomford’s account of her five-years working as a young “idealistic CUSO volunteer” teacher in newly-independent Zambia offering another insightful perspective. Chilliwack-raised in a large…
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1869 Fascinating life, flawed memoir

You Have Been Referred: My Life in Applied Anthropology by Michael Robinson Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 2021 $21.95  /  9781988440705 Reviewed by Kirsten Bell * Many of my anthropological brethren jealously guard the boundaries of the discipline. Although there is no formal registration process for anthropologists, the standard view within most professional associations is that a…
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1813 Welcome Trevor and Brett

Welcome Trevor and Brett by Richard Mackie * On behalf of the Board of the Ormsby Literary Society and our Advisory Board I’d like to welcome Trevor Marc Hughes and Brett Josef Grubisic as interim editors of The British Columbia Review for the year May 1, 2023 to May 1, 2024. The position was made possible…
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1807 A worthwhile anecdotage

Well Aged: Making the Most of Your Platinum Years by Ralph Milton Madeira Park: Douglas and McIntyre, 2021 $24.95 / 9781771623100 Reviewed by Lee Reid * “Why did I wait until age eighty before I grew up?” quips author and retired publisher of Kelowna’s Wood Lake Books Ralph Milton, now aged 89. Growing old means…
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1792 The 164,000-year classroom

Dig Deep: Connecting Archaeology, Oceans and Us by Nicole F. Smith, with photographs by Alexander Mackie and others Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2023 $21.95 / 9781459826083 Reviewed by Grant Keddie * Over my 50 years as a curator in Archaeology at the British Columbia Provincial Museum-Royal British Columbia Museum I received numerous requests from teachers…
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1785 Lost in Sambisa Forest

Between Good and Evil: The Stolen Girls of Boko Haram by Mellissa Fung Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2023 $36.99 / 9781443456081 Reviewed by Isabel Nanton * Canadian Journalist Mellissa Fung has written an important book which amplifies her documentary Captive, the story of three Nigerian girls captured by Boko Haram (which translates as “Western education is…
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