Yukon topics

Love, politics, and toxicity in the Yukon

Image-rich debut novel sets a naive young character in a new location, job, and romance. Complex problems result. —Joe Enns reviews Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit, by Nadine Sander-Green (Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2024) $23.99 / 9781487011291

A ‘visually beautiful book’

“Haley seems uncertain how to talk to children, and sometimes the text reads as if she were lecturing from a blackboard.” Kimiko Murakami: a Japanese Canadian Pioneer by Haley Healey, illustrated by Kimiko Fraser (Victoria: Heritage House, 2023) $12.95 ISBN 9781772034677

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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1907 The legacy of a shipwright

Called by the North: Extraordinary Adventures of the Fur Trade, Shipbuilders, Navigators and Traders in Northwestern Canada and Alaska by George H.S. Duddy Maryland: Heritage Books, 2022 $44.95  /  97807884240097 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * This book is an extraordinary feat of research and writing. It is especially significant as the Arctic has become the…
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1870 Mack Laing in Alaska

Capturing the Summit: Hamilton Mack Laing and the Mount Logan Expedition of 1925 by Trevor Marc Hughes Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2023 $24.95  /  9781553806806 Reviewed by Sage Birchwater * When naturalist/cinematographer Hamilton Mack Laing was commissioned by the National Museum of Canada to accompany the expedition making the first ascent of Mount Logan in 1925,…
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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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1784 Along the White Pass & Yukon

Century of White Pass & Yukon Route Equipment by Carl E. Mulvihill, edited by Keith Nore Whitehorse: Yukon Transportation Museum, 2022 $59.00 / 9781777544317 Reviewed by Robert D. Turner * The White Pass & Yukon Route’s fascinating international railway has a history going back to the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon. It was built…
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1752 The hold of place and family

Why I’m Here: A Novel by Jill Frayne Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2022 $21.95 / 9781774390498 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Jill Frayne’s book Why I’m Here is a combination of the strong pull of family, overwhelming heartache and puzzling mystery. The book is a compelling read set against the fierce splendour of the Yukon. The…
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1695 South to British Columbia

Following the Telegraph Trail: A Trek of a Lifetime by Irene J. Huntley Victoria: FriesenPress, 2021 $14.99 / 9781039110441 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Irene J. Huntley has written a worthy little book — Following the Telegraph Trail — which documents the adventurous trek taken by her father, Don Huntley, and his friend, Gunnar Nillson,…
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1662 Missed opportunities

Her Courage Rises: 50 Trailblazing Women of British Columbia & the Yukon by Haley Healey (text) and Kimiko Fraser (illustrations) Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $22.95 / 9781772034257 Reviewed by Veronica Strong-Boag * In the last half century, women’s history has been a success story in Canada, as in other lands. Whether judged in terms of…
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1594 The celebrated camera obscura

Art, Research, Play: The Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Project by Donald Lawrence, Josephine Mills, and Emily Dundas Oke (editors), foreword by W.F. (Will) Garrett-Petts Lethbridge: University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 2021 $39.95 / 9781927770115 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve  * “This is a book that arrests attention but won’t stand still.” Thanks to W.F. Garrett-Petts for this assertion…
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1553 All that flickered

Hollywood in the Klondike: Dawson City’s Great Film Find by Michael Gates Madeira Park, Harbour Publishing, 2022 $34.95 / 9781550179965 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * All that Flickered: The glitter of gold competed with the flicker of silent movies in 1890s Klondike You can almost taste the rotgut liquor and smell the sweat, cheap cigars…
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1216 Despatches from the Pit

The Pit by Tara Borin Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2021 $18.95 /  9780889713949 Reviewed by Michael Turner * Tara Borin’s first poetry collection The Pit takes its name from a Dawson City hotel, “the Yukon’s oldest and longest-running.” Christened the Westminster Hotel in 1898, its building (rooms, bars and a diner) has undergone numerous additions and…
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1160 Canadian arctic guardians

Sisters of the Ice: The True Story of How St. Roch and North Star of Herschel Island Protected Canadian Arctic Sovereignty by R. Bruce Macdonald Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $19.95 / 9781550179286 Reviewed by Hector Williams * Nearly six decades ago I worked in Canada’s North with various government agencies like the CBC Northern…
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1090 A bottle of Blue in Dawson

INTERVIEW: Tara Borin with Nathaniel G. Moore   Tara Borin is a graduate of the Writer’s Studio Online with Simon Fraser University. Their poems have appeared in Resistance (University of Regina Press), PRISM International, Prairie Fire, emerge 19 and Best New Poets in Canada 2018 (Quattro Books). They are a queer, non-binary writer living in…
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1088 Music, extinction, and stardust

Stardust: memoir and essays by an astronomer who became a psychiatrist by Jaime Smith Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2021 $19.95 /  9781989467305 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * Editor’s note: Jaime Smith’s new book Stardust, reviewed here by Sheldon Goldfarb, contains Smith’s essays and his previously-published memoir Foxtrot: Notes from the Bear Cave, reviewed here by Peter Ward in…
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1009 Reclaiming Indigenous history

Kwanlin Dün: Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur – Our Story in Our Words by Kwanlin Dün First Nation Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2020 $50.00 / 9781773270784 Reviewed by Daniel Sims * Editor’s note: The West Coast Book Prize Society announced on April 8, 2021, that Kwanlin Dün: Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur – Our Story in Our Words,…
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#831 Don’t mention the Yukon Poet

Robert Service: The True Adventures of Yukon’s Favourite Bard by Elle Andra-Warner Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 (first published as Robert Service: A Great Canadian Poet’s Romance with the North, Altitude Publishing, 2004) $9.95 / 9781772033311 Reviewed by William R. Morrison * As an experiment in the lasting influence of poetry in this country, I thought…
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#794 Sternwheelers of the Yukon

The Klondike Gold Rush Steamers: A History of Yukon River Steam Navigation by Robert D. Turner Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 (first published by Sono Nis Press, 2015) $49.95 / 9781550178876 Reviewed by Ken Coates * The last 50 years have not been good for the preservation of the river boat heritage of the Upper…
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#786 From Wiltshire to Teslin Lake

Kings of the Yukon: A River Journey in Search of the Chinook by Adam Weymouth, with a foreword by Harold R. Johnson Toronto: Penguin Random House (Knopf Canada), 2019 $21.00 / 9780345811806 Reviewed by Ken Madsen * Why would a young Brit set off on a 3,100 kilometre river trip through the Yukon Territory and…
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