Essays in non-fiction

1311 The land of reading and writing

emerge 21: The Writer’s Studio Anthology by Emma Cleary, Raoul Fernandes, Dayna Mahannah, Christina Myers, and KT Wagner (editors), with a foreword by Renée Sarojini Saklikar Burnaby: Simon Fraser University, 2021 [price unknown]  / 9781772870831 Reviewed by Michael Turner * For travellers who find reading and writing an essential service, I’m sure there is at…
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1298 A tribute to Richard Wagamese

Richard Wagamese Selected: What Comes from Spirit by Richard Wagamese, with an introduction by Drew Hayden Taylor Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2021 $24.95 / 9781771622752 Reviewed by Paul Falardeau * When he died at 61, Richard Wagamese still had a lot to say, though he had already said so much. The Ojibwe author was…
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1237 Tragic legacies of colonialism

ESSAY: Tragic Legacies: The Residential School System in Canada (1876-1998) by Lily Chow * Editor’s note: Today, September 30, 2021, is the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. “The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities,” states a Government of Canada website. “Public commemoration of…
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1183 Why I love Lucy Maud

ESSAY: Why I love Lucy Maud by Carol Volkart * When I first met Lucy Maud Montgomery in her journals a few months ago, she was a sparkling flirt of 14 tumbling off sleds in winter snowbanks, losing her hat and laughing, laughing, laughing. When I said goodbye to her recently, she was an anguished…
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1177 Paint those final portraits

obittersweet: Life Lessons from Obituaries by Tamara Macpherson Vukusic Oakville, ON: Mosaic Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781771615280 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * As a long-time reader of obituaries, I was delighted to receive a copy of Tamara Macpherson Vukusic’s collection of essays which is aptly titled obittersweet. Describing her Sunday morning ritual “with coffee in…
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1143 Essays personal and impersonal

Big Reader; Essays by Susan Olding Calgary: Freehand Books, 2021 $22.95 / 9781988298818 Reviewed by Heather Graham * “When things go right, I read; when things go wrong, I read more.” Thus wrote Sara Nelson in So Many Books, So Little Time, published in 2004. Nelson’s witty observation about her own reading habits may not…
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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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1093 The militant mothers of Raymur

ESSAY: The Militant Mothers: Civil Disobedience in Raymur Housing Project by Meg Stainsby * The 1971 actions of the “Militant Mothers of Raymur” was one of the first direct action campaigns in Vancouver history. The successful, swift campaign ran from early January through late March. It has been documented and celebrated in newspaper and radio…
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1071 Remnants of Sumas Mountain

ESSAY: Remnants of Sumas Mountain by Natalie Lang For those who came before and those not yet arrived. * And forever before me gleams, The shining city of song, In the beautiful land of dreams. But when I would enter the gate Of that golden atmosphere, It is gone, and I wonder and wait For…
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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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1040 An East Kootenay setting

ORMSBY REVIEW PRESS: Frederick Paget Norbury, Chapter One: The Historical Background: The East Kootenay in the late Nineteenth Century by Brenda Callaghan * Editor’s note: we are pleased to present Chapter 1 of Brenda Callaghan’s hitherto unpublished biography, Frederick Paget Norbury, Remittance Man or Gentleman Immigrant? The Story of an Englishman in Canada, the introduction…
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Teaching typography in quarantine

ESSAY: Advanced Typography Workshops in Quarantine by Thomas Girard * In October 2020, Thomas Girard of the Graduate Liberal Studies programme at Simon Fraser University taught a course in Advanced Typography at a design school in Vancouver. Here, he provides a summary of that course with nods to the history — and ubiquity — of…
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#989 Passionate about the past

Great Expectations: Reflections on Museums and Canada by Jack Lohman Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum, 2019 $14.95 / 9780772673039 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * “Isn’t it amazing that in 2019, Canadians are so passionate about the past?” In this era seen by some as haunted by a toxic past which must be erased as quickly…
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