Vancouver

#685 Tracking the Komagata Maru

Voices of Komagata Maru: Imperial Surveillance and Workers from Punjab in Bengal by Suchetana Chattopadhyay New Delhi: Tulika Books, 2018; New York: Columbia University Press, 2019 $35.00 (U.S.) / 9788193401583 Reviewed by Larry Hannant * Many Canadians became aware of the name Komagata Maru only in 2016, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, still in his…
Read more #685 Tracking the Komagata Maru

#678 A life of lumber and sawmills

Asa Johal and Terminal Forest Products: How a Sikh Immigrant Created BC’s Largest Independent Lumber Company by Jinder Oujla-Chalmers Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $28.95 / 9781550178890 Reviewed by Gurpreet Singh * Asa Johal and Terminal Forest Products is a special interest book for those who wish to learn more about British Columbia’s forest industry,…
Read more #678 A life of lumber and sawmills

#664 Bring cash and raincoat

The Survival Guide to British Columbia by Ian Ferguson Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $19.95 / 9781772032840 Reviewed by Patricia E. Roy * The Survival Guide to British Columbia offers some useful information about the province but it is unlike a Boy Scout handbook or a Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture publication. Ian Ferguson seeks…
Read more #664 Bring cash and raincoat

#656 Facing all the ghosts

The Forbidden Purple City: Stories by Philip Huynh Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions 2019 $22.95 / 9781773100784 Reviewed by William New * Editor’s note: We are pleased to report that on February 6, 2020,  The Forbidden Purple City: Stories was shortlisted for the annual George Ryga Award, given to a B.C. writer who has achieved an outstanding…
Read more #656 Facing all the ghosts

#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…
Read more #639 The characters of English Bay

#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…
Read more #620 Vancouver beyond the postcards

#616 Captive mountain grizzlies

The Grizzlies of Grouse Mountain: The True Adventures of Coola and Grinder by Shelley Hrdlitschka and Rae Schidlo, illustrated by Linda Sharp Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $19.95 / 9781772032772 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Grizzly bear! Ursus arctos ! Or is it, more correctly, Ursus arctos horribilis? The first is the species name, the second…
Read more #616 Captive mountain grizzlies

#614 Waterfront industry & memory

Photo essay: Revolving W and Flying Pigs: A Neon Journal by Keith McKellar (Laughing Hand), with an introduction by Robert Amos Victoria: BoneYard Ink Books, 2018 $50.00 / 9781775357704 Orders: direct from  www.laughinghand.com A photo essay by Keith McKellar and Robert Amos * In December 2018 we published a review (Ormsby Review #449) by Grahame…
Read more #614 Waterfront industry & memory

#612 Chinese ghosts, Chinese identity

The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family by Lindsay Wong Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018 $19.95 / 9781551527369 Reviewed by Imogene Lim First published January 17, 2019 * Editor’s note: this review was first published in The Ormsby Review in January 2019. Somehow it disappeared when material…
Read more #612 Chinese ghosts, Chinese identity

#601 Notice to all Japanese Persons

The Three Pleasures by Terry Watada Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2017 $24.99 / 9781772140958 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner * One of the touchstones of Canadian historical fiction is Obasan, Joy Kogawa’s gentle, autobiographical 1981 story of a Japanese-Canadian childhood disrupted by the racism of the Second World War years in British Columbia. With its cast of…
Read more #601 Notice to all Japanese Persons

#593 Wilderness campaigns & cultures

At the Wilderness Edge: The Rise of the Antidevelopment Movement on Canada’s West Coast by J.I. (Jack) Little Montréal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019 $29.95 / 9780773556409 Reviewed by John Douglas Belshaw * Bear with me, please. Shouldn’t “Wilderness” be in the possessive? At the Wilderness’s Edge maybe? If so, this is a shocking…
Read more #593 Wilderness campaigns & cultures

#590 Mission to skid row

In His Steps: The Life and Times of Wilberforce Cooper, Vancouver’s Skid Road Priest by Peter J. Cooper Victoria: FriesenPress Publishers, 2019 $27.68 / 9781525544545 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * St. James’s Anglican Church presides over Vancouver’s Downtown East Side — presides over but does not loom over. Described as simultaneously Byzantine, Gothic Revival, and…
Read more #590 Mission to skid row

#584 Brother artist at the edge

Drawbridge: Drawing Alongside My Brother’s Schizophrenia by Joan Boxall Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9781773860022 Reviewed by Janet Nicol * A memoir told in ten lyrical essays, Drawbridge: Drawing Alongside My Brother’s Schizophrenia is Joan Boxall’s moving tribute to her brother, Stephen Corcoran. In the early 2000s, Joan became co-trustee of Stephen following…
Read more #584 Brother artist at the edge

#563 BC’s community food co-ops

The Co-op Revolution: Vancouver’s Search For Food Alternatives by Jan DeGrass, with a foreword by Rick Scott Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9781987915952 * Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants by Jon Steinman Gabriola: New Society Publishers, 2019 $19.99 / 9780865719071 * Both books reviewed by…
Read more #563 BC’s community food co-ops

#558 Go climb a mountain!

105 Hikes in and around Southwestern British Columbia by Stephen Hui, foreword by Cease Wyss (T’uy’t’tanat) Vancouver: Greystone, 2018 $24.95 / 9781771642866 * The Glorious Mountains of Vancouver’s North Shore: A Peakbagger’s Guide by David Crerar, Harry Crerar, and Bill Maurer Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2018 $40.00 / 9781771602419 Both books reviewed by Ron Dart…
Read more #558 Go climb a mountain!

#555 Arthur Erickson’s steel house

Eppich House II: The Story of an Arthur Erickson Masterwork by Greg Bellerby, with an introduction by Michelangelo Sabatino Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2019 $45.00 / 9781773270470 Reviewed by Martin Segger * This is the second volume in a series edited by Geoffrey Erickson and authorized by the Erickson family. (The first was Francisco Kirpacz:…
Read more #555 Arthur Erickson’s steel house

#550 From sawmills to EcoDensity

Vancouverism by Larry Beasley, with a prologue by Frances Bula Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019 $39.95 / 9780774890311 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner * Anyone looking for evidence of Vancouver’s essential weirdness could consider these two events: in 2005, a mayor named Sam Sullivan personally trademarked the term “EcoDensity” for a style of highrise development; and, five years later,…
Read more #550 From sawmills to EcoDensity

#549 Peak satisfaction

The Glorious Mountains of Vancouver’s North Shore: A Peakbagger’s Guide by David Crerar, Harry Crerar, and Bill Maurer Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2018 $40.00 / 9781771602419 Reviewed by Glenn Woodsworth * From various points in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, it is possible to look north to mountains that have had just a handful of…
Read more #549 Peak satisfaction

#541 Co-opting the food chain

First published April 30, 2019. The Co-op Revolution: Vancouver’s Search For Food Alternatives by Jan DeGrass, with a foreword by Rick Scott Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9781987915952   Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants by Jon Steinman Gabriola: New Society Publishers, 2019 $19.99 / 9780865719071…
Read more #541 Co-opting the food chain

#540 Wayson Choy (1939-2019)

First published April 29, 2019 Wayson Choy (1939-2019) An obituary by Alan Twigg * At age 80, Wayson Choy died at home on April 28, 2019. Wayson Choy was born on April 20, 1939 in Vancouver as the only son of two working parents. His mother was a meat-cutter and sausage stuffer; he was told…
Read more #540 Wayson Choy (1939-2019)

Pin It on Pinterest