Memoir

1599 Pilgrimage to the bust of Nelligan

Séjour Saint-Louis by Reed Stirling Airdrie, Alberta: BWL [Books We Love] Publishing, 2021 $22.00  /  9780228617488 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Cowichan Bay painter and writer Reed Stirling has published three works in as many years, following up a literary mystery and a “fictional memoir” with an atmospheric novel that is heavily and overtly influenced…
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1598 All together now

Namwayut: We Are All One. A Pathway to Reconciliation by Chief Robert Joseph Vancouver: Page Two Books, 2022 $29.95  /  9781774580059 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * At last, the building, its outline terrorizing The Bay or Yalis, the community framed by open legs, both sides of the water which feeds the people, has come down….
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1596 A many-coloured coat

Two Pieces of Cloth: One Family’s Story of the Holocaust by Joe Gold Vancouver: Page Two Books, 2021 $21.95 / 9781989603826 Reviewed by Peter Hay * The vast literature of the Holocaust occupies various and distinct chambers in our latter-day imagination. First there are the historical documents which recorded or later reconstructed the names and…
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1593 Practice makes pretext

Subject to Change: Writings and Interviews by Liz Magor, with an introduction by Phillip Monk Montreal: Concordia University Press, 2022 $59.95 / 9781988111339 Reviewed by Michael Turner * As a writer of art criticism I have come to appreciate the writings of visual artists. Not just those who use text in their work, but who…
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1578 Guns N’ Poses

They Don’t Pay Me To Say No: my life in film and television props by Dean Goodine Victoria: FriesenPress Publishing, 2022 $24.99 / 9781039144316 Reviewed by Valerie Green * If you were asked what a “property master” does for a living, you would most likely assume the job was connected to real estate in some…
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1575 The Red Rock chronicles

My Indian Summer by Joseph Kakwinokanasum New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2022 $22.95 / 9781990160127 Reviewed by Brett Grubisic * With chapters that share titles with huge seventies radio hits by the likes of ABBA, Kenny Rogers, Nick Gilder, and Captain & Tennille, My Indian Summer appears to point readers in the direction of a wholly…
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1574 From Kelowna to Casablanca

Meet Me in Cairo: Tales of Hitchin’ in the ’60s by Jim Kerr Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2022 $26.95 / 9781989467527 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Jim Kerr’s story of hitch hiking around North America, Europe, North Africa, and the Levant is truly a tale from another age. An era when one could count…
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1569 Loss, wisdom, bereavement

Minerva’s Owl: The Bereavement Phase of My Marriage by Carol Matthews Calgary: Freehand Books, 2021 (first published by Oolichan Books, 2017) $17.95 / 9780889823259 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Carol Matthews’ memoir Minerva’s Owl is not a happy book, but it is one full of hope and tenderness told with the author’s beautiful prose skills….
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1564 Fishing for home water

Reading the Water: Fly Fishing, Fatherhood, and Finding Strength in Nature by Mark Hume Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2022 $34.95 / 9781771645690 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Fishing for “home water.” About a dedicated fisher-father and his metaphor for life  Ever hear of a Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear? How about a Mickey Finn? A Pumpkin Head…
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1556 Tales of the avalanche clan

Snow Nomad: An Avalanche Memoir by Alan Dennis Victoria: FriesenPress, 2022 $25.99 / 9781039107984 Reviewed by Ron Dart * I have had an ongoing interest, the last few decades, in the life and philosophic vision of Dolores LaChapelle. LaChapelle’s early pioneering work with Arne Naess in deep ecology and her deep powder skiing insights were…
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1552 Bard of the Shuswap

The Shuswap Country by Erskine Burnett, edited by Jim Cooperman and with a foreword by Mark Forsythe Salmon Arm: 55 Creative Group and Hucul Printing, 2022 $25.00  / 9780994990259 Reviewed by Sage Birchwater * The Shuswap Country is a history-buff’s delight waiting to pique your curiosity about life in the Shuswap during the 1930s and…
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1548 Loggers, rhozzums, & grizzlies

Up the Coast: One family’s wild life in the forests of British Columbia by Kathryn Willcock Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2022 $24.95  /  9781774390511 Reviewed by Dave Flawse * Kathryn Willcock’s rustic childhood summers spent in a remote British Columbia logging camp “with endless forests, a rugged coastline, and not much else,” provide the staple ingredients…
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1546 Kitsilano flashback

The Rooming House: The West Coast in the Seventies by Michael Kluckner Vancouver: Midtown Press, 2022 $19.95 /  9781988242460 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Michael Kluckner has skillfully managed to capture the free spirit, free love era of the late sixties and early seventies in this captivating story of lost youth trying to find their…
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1545 Cree identity in exile

Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Dignity by Darrel J. McLeod Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2021 $29.95 / 9781771622318 Reviewed by Heather Simeney MacLeod * Darrel McLeod attended the University of British Columbia where he obtained two degrees – a Bachelor of Arts in French Literature and another in Education. Prior to becoming a writer, McLeod worked…
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1543 Photos & letters of Tim Gidal

Two books reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb: Gidal: The Unusual Friendship of Yosef Wosk and Tim Gidal, Letters and Photos by Alan Twigg (editor) Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2022 $39.95 / 9781771623025 * Memories of Jewish Poland: The 1932 Photographs of Nachum Tim Gidal by Yosef Wosk and Nachum Tim Gidal Jerusalem: Gefen Books, 2020…
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1536 Setting the record straight

Fight or Submit: Standing Tall in Two Worlds by Ronald M. Derrickson Toronto: ECW Press, 2020 $34.95 / 9781770415669 Reviewed by David Milward * Sometimes there is just no winning for Indigenous peoples. If Indigenous peoples remain in poverty with no meaningful economy to sustain themselves, it becomes easy for non-Indigenous peoples to label them…
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1535 An English chambermaid

Queasy: a wannabe writer’s bumpy journey through England in the ’70s by Madeline Sonik Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2022 $20.00 / 9781772141894 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * “There be dragons,” warn words in the corners of some old maps. The warning is really, of course, an invitation both to the intrepid to investigate remote lands and…
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1533 On the edge of memoir

Blue Portugal and Other Essays by Theresa Kishkan Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2022 $24.99 / 9781772125993 Reviewed by Michael Hayward * For forty-some-odd years, Theresa Kishkan and her husband, poet John Pass, have been living in a home that they built themselves early in their marriage, on a piece of land half-way up BC’s…
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1527 Turbulence and eruption

Emily Carr, Unvarnished: Autobiographical Sketches by Emily Carr by Kathryn Bridge (editor) Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9780772679642 Reviewed by Colin Browne * Turbulence and Eruption: Emily Carr, Unvarnished There’s a scene in Kathryn Bridge’s wonderful collection, Unvarnished: Autobiographical Sketches by Emily Carr, that sticks in my mind. It’s June 1936….
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