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The holiday season is upon us, and perhaps you are considering giving the gift of a good book! Below are the most lovely and readable and immediately compelling books we have produced recently to help you in your quest. Order soon to have them delivered in the next couple of weeks! (And did you know that ours come nicely packaged?)
1. They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars
They Called Me Number One by Xat’sull Chief Bev Sellars is the ﬁrst full-length memoir to be published out of St. Joseph’s Mission, the residential school at Williams Lake, BC. Readers have flocked to the book and audiences to its author, finding this personal memoir immediately readable, moving, thoughtful, and significant to Canada’s national identity and the national identities of all its peoples. This book has been on the B.C. Bestsellers list for 31 weeks running!
Rita Wong expressed her delight about this book with these words: “English litters the sky, its typed letters eventually demolished into illegible insects that flit above archival photo-testimony to land/people. […] A surprising and necessary book of poetry, The Place of Scraps is as humbly unstoppable as the next breath you take in and release back out to the world.” This is a poetry book for poetry lovers, art lovers, typography lovers, and book lovers in general.
Says Jennica Harper, author of The Octopus and Other Poems and What It Feels Like For a Girl, “Dina Del Bucchia’s debut is funny, perversely beautiful, and satirical without being judgmental. Here, all emotions are to be revelled in, from happiness (‘soft lighting, WiFi connection, rat poison’) to shame (‘catch the glimpse of uncertainty / as you mispronounce countries’). Buy, read, and clutch to your chest this comforting poetic guide for painful times.”
“Those imaginative enough will leave with their pockets stuffed with stones, metal bits, shards of crockery. They will tell their friends what it is and the things will transform before their eyes. In a hidden recess of themselves, even those who say they don’t believe will believe. … a special, and rare accomplishment: form, content, and style align to make a complete work, with the loose ends being purposeful… as Canty writes that Wigrum ‘commenced ceasing to exist,’ the ending, and the disconnections, are opportunities to take our own risks, creating the rest of the stories, linking what we are able, and letting be lost what must be lost.” – P. T. Smith of Three Percent
When his father died, award-winning poet and curator Gil McElroy was given a box of photographs that documented his father’s military career. Beginning in the Second World War and continuing right through to the end of the Cold War, the senior McElroy staffed Canada’s network of electronic defence, including the Distant Early Warning Line – a network of radar stations stretching along the Arctic coast from Alaska to Baffin Island. Cold Comfort follows McElroy’s experience of growing up as an itinerant military brat, who moved from one posting to another, and the military family’s attempts to hold together in the face of the father’s absence. Cold Comfort also explores the utter enigma that was the author’s father.
Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now gathers many of the poems from Daphne Marlatt’s 1972 Vancouver Poems, somewhat revised or in some cases substantially revised, and follows them with “Liquidities,” a series of recent poems about Vancouver’s incessant deconstruction and reconstruction, its quick transformations both on the ground and in urban imagining.
Discovered in her papers in 2008, Jane Rule’s autobiography is a rich and culturally significant document that follows the first twenty-one years of her life: the complexities of her relationships with family, friends and early lovers, and how her sensibilities were fashioned by mentors or impeded by the socio-cultural practices and educational politics of the day.
“Whether it serves as an introduction to a new literary voice or an illumination of an already beloved one, this book offers fascinating insight into Rule’s formative years as a provocateur, intellectual, lover, and writer.” – Publishers Weekly
This Poem is an ironic investigation of contemporary culture and the technomedia-saturated world in which we are enmeshed. Composed in the style of Facebook updates and extended Tweets, each section infuses itself with continuous shifting tones, styles, and commentary, which are in turn provocative, emotive, and deeply satiric.
What’s more, this book is darn sexy. The sensual sounds of the poetry are complimented by elegant textualized illustrations in full colour.
To commemorate its 25th Anniversary, the Or Gallery co-published with Talonbooks a second, updated edition of Vancouver Anthology, edited by acclaimed artist Stan Douglas, first published in 1991. Featuring a larger format, new hardcover design and a new afterword by Stan Douglas, the republication of Vancouver Anthology coincides with a renewal of the Or Gallery’s mandate to incite and promote critical discourse both within and outside of the Vancouver art community.
The essays collected in this book were first presented in the autumn of 1990 as part of a lecture series entitled Vancouver Anthology, a forum in which each contributing writer could test his or her research on the question of art and politics in public, before their papers were sent into print. What these presentations are clearly able to provide is a critique of the institutionalization of what had been previously considered alternative art practices, a contemporary notion not unrelated to what the artistic milieu of another generation, continent and historical age might have called the “avant-garde.” Contributors include: Keith Wallace, Sara Diamond, Nancy Shaw, Maria Insell, William Wood, Carol Williams, Robin Peck, Robert Linsley, Scott Watson and Marcia Crosby.
Absolutely unique in its presentational style, Vancouver: A Visual History is a delightful and important book. This stunning, full-colour historical atlas brings to life Vancouver’s first fourteen decades, beginning with a map of the 1850s depicting the land use, economy and settlement patterns of its first peoples, and ending with a map of the 1980s. Anyone with any interest or investment in the city of Vancouver will be pleased to pore over these pages.