Vancouver

1965 The shame of 1907

White Riot: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver by Henry Tsang Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023 $32.95  /  9781551529196 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Many British Columbians will have heard of the Vancouver anti-Asian riots of 1907. It was a brutal historic event that revealed deep-seated public prejudices fueled by paranoia about the province being…
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1964 Literary thriller, ‘by all accounts … thrilling’

Uncontrolled Flight by Frances Peck Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2023 $25.95 / 9781774390757 Reviewed by Caileigh Broatch * Frances Peck has once again written a story that will grip British Columbian’s fears and hearts. Her debut novel, The Broken Places, envisioned fall-out from the big earthquake predicted to hit the Vancouver area. Uncontrolled Flight’s catalyst is…
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1980s East Van nostalgia

East Side Story: Growing Up at the PNE by Nick Marino Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023 $21.95 / 9781551529332 (paperback) Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * When I moved to Vancouver in August 1985, Nick Marino, aged 17, was working his last summer at the PNE. To me the PNE (the Pacific National Exhibition) was some distant…
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1936 Thriller with monstrous, ‘unequivocally irredeemable’ men

The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding Toronto: Grand Central Publishing, 2023 $28.00 / 9781538726761 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding is disturbing, juicy, riveting, and true to Harding’s previous work—the perfect nocturnal accompaniment to guarantee sleeplessness, but the fun kind. In terms of scandalizing secrets, think Big Little Lies, only…
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1927 Impossiblist Maverick

Class Warrior: The Selected Works of E.T. Kingsley by Benjamin Isitt and Ravi Malhotra (eds.) Athabasca: Athabasca University Press, 2022 $34.95  /  9781778290046 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Chances are you’ve never heard of Eugene Thornton (E.T.) Kingsley. Chances are also good that if you had heard of him you might not like him or…
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1919 Mars, mirth, metadata

Girlfriend on Mars By Deborah Willis Toronto: Hamish Hamilton, 2023 $34.00 / 9780670069583 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * With a nod and wink, Vancouver’s Deborah Willis titles her story about a preposterously engineered mission to terraform Mars Girlfriend on Mars. The wonderfully lightweight word “Girlfriend” plays with the discrepancy between the gravity of a real…
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1917 Teenage wasteland, Y2K bromance

New Millennium Boyz By Alex Kazemi New York: Permuted Press, 2023 $37 / 9781637583913 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * In some ways, Brad Seela is a typical seventeen-year-old white boy coasting through an apathetic life in the suburban North America of 1999: bored with school, indifferent about the future, disillusioned with his yuppie parents, susceptible…
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1915 Money laundering and melodrama

Laundering the Dragon–Black Renminbi By John D’Eathe Vancouver: Adagio Media, 2021 $17.99 / 9781999433918 Reviewed by Valerie Green   *   John D’Eathe has written what is described as “a contemporary melodramatic novel” set in recent times about a current day problem in the powerful, international financial business world. D’Eathe begins his book with an…
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1909 Regimented and tedious in Montreal

Bookworm By Robin Yeatman Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers, 2023 $23.99 / 9780063273009 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * It’s hard to understand why Victoria, the bookworm in Robin Yeatman’s debut novel, marries Eric. She doesn’t seem to have known him well before joining her life to his and is utterly miserable with him. Victoria spends most of…
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1874 Bridge River Gold

Voices from Bridge River: The Bridge River Hydroelectric Projects, the People Who Built Them, and the Lives They Touched by BC Hydro Power Pioneers with Kerry Gold Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2022 $29.95  /  9781773271071 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * With her caustic wit and outspoken opinions, local newspaper publisher Ma [Margaret] Murray put BC’s…
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1858 ‘Obscure as much as to reveal’

Exploring Vancouver: Ten tours of the City and its Buildings (Fifth Edition) by Harold Kalman and Robin Ward Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2023 $29.95  /  9781990776274 Reviewed by Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe * Exploring Vancouver has evolved alongside the city.  Once a series of First Nations settlements amidst a stupendous maritime setting, it became a lumber…
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1823 Triumphant and melancholic

RUBYMUSIC: A popular history of women’s music and culture by Connie Kuhns Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, March 2023 $26.00 / 9781773861012 Reviewed by Catherine Owen As a “female bassist” myself at one time in my history and as a woman raised in a climate of continual music, whether from good ol’ CBC piped out of…
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1817 An evening on Broadway

  BC & Yukon Book Prizes shortlist evening Book Warehouse Broadway Vancouver,  May 11, 2023 by Trevor Marc Hughes, non-fiction editor * It was hot, but the breeze kept the sun in check. I entered the Broadway book shop to see the BC & Yukon Book Awards banner. It was surrounded by several people, wine…
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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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1810 Intrigue, then and now

Ruby Red Skies by Taslim Burkowicz Halifax and Winnipeg: Roseway Publishing an imprint of Fernwood Publishing, 2022 $24.00 / 9781773635606 Reviewed by Steven Brown * Ruby is not happy. She feels taken for granted by both husband and daughter. Her opinions don’t matter. Her husband talks down to her, openly mocks her, is oblivious to…
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