#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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#39 From Quilchena Creek to Flanders

ESSAY: For Remembrance Day 2016, Michael Sasges has reconstructed the life of Nicola Valley rancher John Foster Paton Nash. First published Nov. 7, 2016 * Note to Ormsby readers: I have dusted off this essay by Mike Sasges for re-use on Remembrance Day, 2020. I have rewritten the introduction, re-sized and rearranged the photos, and…
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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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#37 Short stories of love & betrayal

Teardown by Clea Young Calgary: Freehand Books, 2016 $19.95  /  9781988298016 Reviewed by Sharon Kurtz First published November 7, 2016 * The twelve stories in Clea Young’s debut collection Teardown are largely concerned with friendship and betrayal. Best friends can become strangers, or worse, sworn enemies. There are childhood friends, jealous friends, friends who sleep…
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#36 Eelgrass, cement, serenity

Tod Inlet: A Healing Place by Gwen Curry Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2015 $25.00  /  9781771600767 Reviewed by Peter Grant First published November 4, 2016 * Shortlisted for the 2016 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize, Gwen Curry’s first book, Tod Inlet: A Healing Place, joins a burgeoning, British Columbian literature of place—once more an environmental vision…
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#35 Canada’s forgotten superstar

Aloha Wanderwell: The Border-Smashing, Record-Setting Life of the World’s Youngest Explorer Fredericton, New Brunswick: Goose Lane Editions, 2016 by Christian Fink-Jensen and Randolph Eustace-Walden $24.95  /  9780864928955 Reviewed by Bonnie Reilly Schmidt First published October 31, 2016 * Recently BC’s remarkable Aloha Wanderwell (born Idris Hall, 1906-1996) was recognized by the Guinness Book of World…
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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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#33 Resettlement of the Comox Valley

Watershed Moments: A Pictorial History of Courtenay and District by Christine Dickinson, Deborah Griffiths, Judy Hagen, and Catherine Siba Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2015 $34.95  /  9781550177220 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart First published October 30, 2016 * Comox Valley writers and Courtenay Museum curators Christine Dickinson, Deborah Griffiths, Judy Hagen, and Catherine Siba have…
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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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#30 Bob Bouchette, everyman scribe

Bob Bouchette’s last story, 1938 by Janet Nicol First published October 21, 2016 * Long before Allan Fotheringham or Eric Nicol, Vancouver’s most popular columnist was Bob Bouchette. The prolific non-conformist Bob Bouchette wrote literally thousands of columns, usually around 700 words each, mostly for The Vancouver Sun. His six-part series on the abysmal conditions…
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The entrance to the Fraser Canyon showing the town of Yale, by Althea Moody, 1891

#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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#28 Rafe Mair’s fox-like rambles

First published Oct. 19, 2016 REVIEW: I Remember Horsebuns (North Saanich: Promontory Press, 2015) $14.95 978-1-987857-25-2 by Rafe Mair Reviewed by Ron Dart More fox than hedgehog   Isaiah Berlin, in his oft quoted, “The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History” (1953), took as his guiding theme a passage from Archilochus:…
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#27 Let them eat dirt

First published October 17, 2016 REVIEW Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Our Children from an Oversanitized World by B. Brett Finlay and Marie-Claire Arrieta (Greystone) $19.95 reviewed by Mark Forsythe Our kids need dirt and face licks from the family dog. We live in an obsessively clean world with antibiotic soaps, cleansers, antibiotic drugs and…
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#26 A whale named Moby Doll

The Killer Whale Who Changed the World by Mark Leiren-Young Vancouver: Greystone Books with the David Suzuki Institute, 2016 $29.95  /  9781771641937 Reviewed by Daniel Francis First published Oct. 17, 2016 * My most memorable encounter with a killer whale occurred in 1987. Newly returned home after sixteen years living in eastern Canada, I thought…
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#25 Remembering Jim Douglas

Jim Douglas called himself “just a book pedlar.” At age 15, he started in the book biz in Edinburgh delivering books to bookstores by peddling his bicycle. He became the most influential publishing presence in B.C. during the 1970s and early 1980s. Here [below], The Ormsby Review is pleased to provide an appreciation of Jim…
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#22 Haig-Brown & Al Purdy

“I want to catch some kind of Haig-Brown essence with the halo slightly askew.” — Al Purdy, 1974 by Ron Dart Al Purdy was one of Canada’s most prolific poets and writers, but when his many published books are listed, one volume, Cougar Hunter: A Memoir of Roderick Haig-Brown, is often omitted. Cougar Hunter has…
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Hungarian road safety stamp, 1973

#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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Postcard of the smelter at Trail, postmarked 1944

#19 The Reddest Rose

ESSAY: The Reddest Rose: Trade Unionist Harvey Murphy by Ron Vurzuh First Published: September 22nd, 2016 * Harvey Murphy is not a name that echoes loudly throughout the annals of 20th-century British Columbia labour history. In fact, the tireless trade union organizer, negotiator, and active Communist Party of Canada (CPC) bureaucrat has almost disappeared from…
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