LGBTQ2

1096 A master of urban politics

Outside In: A Political Memoir by Libby Davies Toronto: Between The Lines, 2019 $26.95 / 9781771134453 Reviewed by Alex Netherton * Libby Davies’ Outside In is an extraordinary political memoir that chronicles and reflects upon her life and political career first as an urban activist and then eventually as the Deputy Leader of the NDP…
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1088 Music, extinction, and stardust

Stardust: memoir and essays by an astronomer who became a psychiatrist by Jaime Smith Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2021 $19.95 /  9781989467305 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * Editor’s note: Jaime Smith’s new book Stardust, reviewed here by Sheldon Goldfarb, contains Smith’s essays and his previously-published memoir Foxtrot: Notes from the Bear Cave, reviewed here by Peter Ward in…
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1045 An Indigenous sci-fi moment

Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction by Joshua Whitehead (editor) Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020 $21.95 /  9781551528113 Reviewed by Harper Campbell * Joshua Whitehead’s new edited anthology, Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction, comes on the heels of anthologies like Walking the…
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1042 A culture of coastal pottery

My Life as a Potter: Stories and Techniques by Mary Fox Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2020 $44.95 / 97815501179385 Reviewed by Maria Tippett * Part I of Mary Fox’s lavishly illustrated My Life as a Potter: Stories and Techniques charts the artist’s career beginning with the hand-built figurative sculptures she fashioned out of found clay…
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1010 A trans tale of triumph

Blood Sport by Tash McAdam Victoria: Orca Books, 2020 $10.95  /  9781459824362 Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw * Vancouver author Tash McAdams has written a little gem in Blood Sport. Part of the Orca Soundings series — short, high-interest novels targeted at teen readers — this novel is a fast-paced and exciting read. It is…
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#957 Transmission of the Queer

The Walking Boy by Lydia Kwa Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 (first published by Key Porter Books, 2005) $19.95 /  9781551527635 Reviewed by Paul Falardeau * “To transmit the strange” is a fine goal to be set before a writer. One with the talents of Lydia Kwa might find in it the chance to do…
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#872 Making some good trouble

Disabled Voices Anthology by sb. smith (editor), with a foreword by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha Nanoose Bay: Rebel Mountain Press, 2020 $18.95   /   9781775301950 Reviewed by Margot Fedoruk * I want to see young people in America feel the spirit of the 1960s and find a way to get in the way. To find a way…
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#866 Beware rainbow-filled Oreos

Rebent Sinner by Ivan Coyote Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $19.75 / 9781551527734 Reviewed by Anna Spencer with Heather Simeney MacLeod * On March 12, 2020, Ivan Coyote’s Rebent Sinner was shortlisted for the 2020 and inaugural Jim Deva Prize (for “writing that provokes”) and was also shortlisted for the Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize, both of…
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#865 Channelling Oscar Wilde

Beautiful Untrue Things: Forging Oscar Wilde’s Extraordinary Afterlife by Gregory Mackie Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019 $60.00 / 9781487502904 Reviewed by Brittany Reid * There has long been a fascination with the unusual lives of authors, leading to the proliferation of a popular and academic genre known as literary biography. Literary biographies are intended…
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#860 Astronomy, psychiatry, reflection

Foxtrot: Notes from the Bear Cave by Jaime Smith Victoria: FriesenPress, 2020 $13.99 / 9781525574726 Available from FriesenPress bookshop or Amazon Reviewed by Peter Ward * An autobiography may seek to explain, to persuade, to justify — or simply to recollect. Foxtrot does the latter and it’s richer for the choice. It’s a short book…
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#813 Mordant men of Nova Scotia

The Home Stretch: A Father, A Son, and All the Things They Never Talk About by George K. Ilsley Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020 $19.95 /  9781551527956 Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic * Considered by title alone, The Home Stretch might encourage a vision — a celebratory one — of completion: finishing a taxing race…
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#772 Echoes of spirits dreaming

Bawaajigan: Stories of Power by Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler and Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith (editors) Toronto: Exile Editions, 2019 $21.95 / 9781550968415 Reviewed by Savana Alphonse with Rebecca Fredrickson * Bawaajigan: Stories of Power is a collection of short stories written by seventeen Indigenous authors from Turtle Island, today known as Canada. The stories here serve…
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#756 Lonesome in the City of Glass

We All Need to Eat by Alex Leslie Toronto: Book*hug Press, 2018 $20.00 / 9781771664196 Reviewed by Vincent Ternida * The popular adage “all our cells are replaced every seven to ten years” led to the notion that as human beings, we become completely new people within that cycle. In the nine stories in Alex…
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#749 Robin Blaser in retrospect

A Literary Biography of Robin Blaser: Mechanic of Splendor by Miriam Nichols New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019 $39.99 (U.S.) / 9783030183264 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * The most astonishing section of this book comes when author Miriam Nichols describes Robin Blaser’s time as a teacher at Simon Fraser University. Perhaps it is because…
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#722 A punchy and brilliant debut

Shut Up You’re Pretty by Téa Mutonji Vancouver: VS. Books, an imprint of Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $17.95 / 9781551527550 Reviewed by Jenna Butler * Téa Mutonji’s 2019 short story collection Shut Up You’re Pretty is the first book to be released under Arsenal Pulp Press’s VS. Books, a new imprint publishing work by young…
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#689 Little Blue Island almanac

Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante Montreal: Metonymy Press, 2019 $18.95 / 9780994047199 Reviewed by Paul Headrick * On March 12, 2020, Hazel Jane Plante’s Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) was one of five books shortlisted for the 2020 Jim Deva Prize (for “writing that provokes”) from the BC and Yukon Book…
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#646 An abiding hunger for art

Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making of a Brown Queer Man by C.E. Gatchalian Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $18.95 / 9781551527536 Reviewed by Vincent Ternida * “I live for art.” This is how C.E. Gatchalian commences his brief but dense collection of interconnected personal essays in Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making…
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#639 The characters of English Bay

I Saw Three Ships: West End Stories by Bill Richardson Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2019 $16.95 / 9781772012330 Reviewed by Harvey De Roo * In his introduction to this delightful book, Bill Richardson assures us in a Wildean mot that “The past is far too precious to waste on something as cheap as nostalgia.” But I Saw…
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#620 Vancouver beyond the postcards

Vancouver Noir by Sam Wiebe (editor) Brooklyn, NY: Akashic Books, 2018 $23.95 / 9781617756597 Reviewed by Paul Falardeau * Vancouver is a beautiful city, one you might expect is a good place to find some world-class, city-adjacent hikes, the best smoked salmon, and some of the finest sinsemilla you could ever hope to smoke. It’s…
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