Memoir

#44 Freezing the puck in the corner

The Hockey Scribbler by George Bowering Toronto: ECW Press, 2016 $19.95 / 9781770412897 Reviewed by Bruce McDougall First published November 16, 2016 * If a mere hockey player like Wayne Gretzky were to write a book in which he criticized poets for ripping the feet off their anapests and bludgeoning scansion into a bloody pulp,…
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#43 Defiance, hope, and healing

The Defiant Mind: Living Inside a Stroke by Ron Smith Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2016 $22.95  /  9781553804802 Reviewed by Mark Forsythe First published November 15, 2016 * Ron Smith, the founder of Oolichan Books, thinks the word “stroke” is far too light to describe a brain that has been “attacked” or “carpet bombed.” In his…
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#42 Nukwa and the merchant of Yale

Pioneer merchant Louis Oppenheim: not Oppenheimer by Bonnie Ellen Campbell First published Nov. 14, 2016 * Editor’s note: Bonnie Campbell assumed she was English. As a young adult she was surprised to learn that her grandmother was the daughter of a Prussian-Jewish merchant Louis Oppenheim, of Yale, and his wife Nukwa (Hannah) of Spuzzum, daughter…
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#40 Windy Arm, Tutchi, Tagish Lake

All for the Greed of Gold: Will Woodin’s Klondike Adventure by Catherine Spude (editor) Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 2016 US $27.95 / 978-0874223354 Reviewed by Robert G. McCandless First published November  9, 2016 * Our history of the past 100 years seems so dominated by wars and their consequences that we have forgotten…
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#38 Fact, myth, and powerpoint

Paid Price: The Fight for First Nations Survival By Bev Sellars Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2016 $19.95 9780889229723 Reviewed by Eldon Yellowhorn First published November 7, 2016 * Editor’s note: as happens occasionally at The Ormsby Review, a happy mixup occurs and we end up with two reviews of the same book. For our second review of…
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#34 Mahonia Ranche, Whannock

Letters from Mahonia Ranche, 1888–1895 by Fred Braches First published October 31, 2016 * At the age of 23, Murdoch Kirby immigrated to British Columbia from England with his friend Charles Sprott. They homesteaded at Glenwood in south Langley at the end of today’s 216th Street near the U.S. border, each on a quarter section…
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#31 Amber McMillan learns the ropes

The Woods: A Year on Protection Island by Amber McMillan Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2016 $19.95  /  9780889713291 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart First published October 26, 2016 * Amber McMillan is a poet from Toronto now living, happily I hope, on the Sunshine Coast. She has written a highly personal account of her disappointing year…
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#29 Althea Moody and All Hallows

ESSAY: Across the Bright Continent: Althea Moody, Missionary and Artist in Western Canada by Jennifer Iredale First published October 21, 2016 * Missionary, linguist, educator, and artist Althea Moody (1865-1930) spent twenty years (1891-1911) teaching at the Anglican Church’s All Hallows School in Yale. This school admitted both “Indian” and “White” girls, making it exceptional…
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#21 Bumbling down the Danube

1973: Bumbling down the Blue Danube, and the Red Danube, with Cornelius Burke by Howard Macdonald Stewart First published in instalments, October-November 2016 * The Ormsby Review is pleased to present a memoir by Howard Stewart, born in Powell River in 1952 and a long-term resident of Denman Island. When Stewart was twenty, in 1973,…
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#20 Master orator Charlie Yahey

Arts of the Dreamer: Dane-zaa Communities Remember Charlie Yahey by Robin Ridington First published September 24, 2016 * First Nations literature, as indeed all literature, begins with oral narrative.  Writing has never entirely replaced orality as a narrative genre, even in cultures that have produced written documents for millenia.  For many First Nations, oral literature…
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#1 Welcome to The Ormsby Review

Richard Mackie and BCBookLook are teaming up to provide a new vehicle for serious writing about B.C. The Ormsby Review will be named after Margaret Ormsby, the venerable historian who often met with Richard Mackie for tea and talk during her retirement near Vernon. First published September 16th, 2016 * Note: The Ormsby Review was…
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