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.

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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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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1972 Make injection sites, not criminals

Decrim: How We Decriminalized Drugs in British Columbia by Kennedy Stewart Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2023 $24.95  /  9781990776304 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Former Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart speaks from political experience when he describes the struggle to have hard drugs like heroin and cocaine decriminalized in Canada’s third largest city. He also speaks…
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1943 ‘Don’t you dare forget me’

When My Ghost Sings: A Memoir of Stroke, Recovery & Transformation  by Tara Sidhoo Fraser Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023 $22.95  /  9781551529271 Reviewed by Betty Jane Hegerat * Tara Sidhoo Fraser’s When My Ghost Sings: A Memoir of Stroke, Recovery & Transformation pieces together the aftermath of a stroke and diagnosis of a rare…
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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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1757 Announcing interview series

Announcing the BC Review interview series by Richard Mackie * In November 2022, at the most recent board meeting of the Ormsby Literary Society, the chair, Byron Sheardown, suggested that we open a YouTube channel and start an interview series. Board member Trevor Marc Hughes jumped at the suggestion. “I’ve got filmmaking experience,” he said,…
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1734 Moving to the end

Dance Me to the End: Ten Months and Ten Days with ALS by Alison Acheson Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2019 (also available as an audiobook) $22.99 / 9781927366868 Reviewed by Lee Reid * “What will become of me? Who will take care of me? Will you stay with me to the end?” People ask these questions…
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1713 Getting emotional

Feeling Feminism: Activism, Affect, and Canada’s Second Wave by Lara Campbell, Michael Dawson, and Catherine Gidney (editors) Vancouver: UBC Press, 2022 $34.95 / 9780774866507 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * Increasingly I feel myself becoming historical. The feeling comes with advancing age, enhanced by encountering the work of a younger generation of scholars such as Lara…
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1702 Fragments of grief & mourning

Holden After and Before: Love Letter for a Son Lost to Overdose by Tara McGuire Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022 $24.95 / 9781551528939 Reviewed by Colin James Sanders * Human beings, not unlike other creatures, contend with the death of loved ones, navigating grief and mourning in varying ways. Tara McGuire of Vancouver channeled her…
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1694 A history play for the ages

Michael Turner reviews In My Day by Rick Waines Produced by Norman Armour, Rick Waines and Zee Zee Theatre presented by The Cultch Theatre, Vancouver December 02-11, 2022 * As a late-born North American Baby Boomer, I am not old enough to remember all the defining moments assigned to my generation. I was barely fifteen…
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1686 Options at the end of life

This is Assisted Dying: A Doctor’s Story of Empowering Patients at the End of Life by Stefanie Green Toronto: Simon and Schuster Canada (Scribner), 2022 $24.99 / 9781668004784 Reviewed by Lee Reid * MAiD. Medical Assistance in Dying. I don’t see assisted dying as ending someone’s life; the underlying illness and suffering are doing that….
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1669 An essential need

Wired for Music: A Search for Health and Joy Through the Science of Sound by Adriana Barton Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2022 $32.95 / 9781771645546 Reviewed by Derek von Essen * The afternoon Wired for Music arrived in the post was the same day I tested positive for Covid-19. I wasn’t surprised by the result. While…
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1657 Unresolved in Weyburn

Darkness at the Edge of Town by Stan Rogal Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2022 $20.00 / 9781771836975 Reviewed by Bill Paul * Taking place in the town of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Stan Rogal’s Darkness at the Edge of Town follows the psycho-sexual odyssey of young man in his late twenties, a misfit and hell-raiser named Ray. The…
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1646 Every day has its gold

Dancing in Small Spaces: One Couple’s Journey with Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia by Leslie A. Davidson Victoria: TouchWood Editions (Brindle & Glass), 2022 $22.00 / 9781990071089 Reviewed by Lee Reid * When married retired teachers are double diagnosed, he with dementia and she with Parkinson’s disease, there is not much space to dance….
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1645 Ferlinghetti of the Shuswap

Facing the Sweating Horse by Calvin White Surrey: Now or Never Publishing, 2022 $19.95 / 9781989689424 Reviewed by Harold Rhenisch * Houses have views. They face them. Some face the street outside, or a garden, a fence, a city, a lake, a river or mountains. Some face fields and grasslands. Some face the sea. The…
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1638 Regulating opiates & opioids

Heroin: An Illustrated History by Susan Boyd Winnipeg and Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing, 2022 $34.00 / 9781773635163 Reviewed by Connor Robinson * Susan Boyd’s Heroin: An Illustrative History is a timely and illuminative record of how heroin, and opiates/opioids at large, moved from a drug with continued therapeutic relevance to a political tool for demonization…
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1636 Siebert’s seven psychedelics

Psyched: Seven Cutting-Edge Psychedelics Changing the World by Amanda Siebert, with a foreword by Julie Holland Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2022 $21.95 / 9781771648790 Reviewed by Colin James Sanders * While the title of Amanda Siebert’s latest book may be overreaching in its claim that psychedelics are changing the world, psychedelic-assisted therapeutic practices are definitely experiencing…
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1618 Goaltender, heal thyself

The Save of My Life: My Journey Out of the Dark by Corey Hirsch, with Sean Patrick Conboy Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2022 $32.99 / 9781443461092 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * It must be hard to write a good topical hockey book these days. The goalposts, as it were, keep shifting on the zeitgeist as Canada’s…
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