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Canadian nonfiction

  • Author:
    Musgrave, Susan
    Summary:

    Evocative and superbly rakish, these essays are a generous diagnosis of the often offbeat worlds of family, writing, travel, sex and death as interpreted through the real life adventures of Susan Musgrave. Equally at home recounting the lore of her outlaw husband Stephen Reid, or interpreting the arcane rituals of her teenage girls, Musgrave brings to her literary essays that same invigorating freshness for which he has become known in her fiction and poetry. In settings ranging from the aching solitude of the Queen Charlotte Islands to the sweaty intensity of bandido apartments in Panama, the reader will find Musgrave musing with her legendary wit and pastiche, while creating graffiti-like impressions of the writer's essential take on those closest to her.

  • Author:
    Musgrave, Susan
    Summary:

    Evocative and superbly rakish, these essays are a generous diagnosis of the often offbeat worlds of family, writing, travel, sex and death as interpreted through the real life adventures of Susan Musgrave. Equally at home recounting the lore of her outlaw husband Stephen Reid, or interpreting the arcane rituals of her teenage girls, Musgrave brings to her literary essays that same invigorating freshness for which he has become known in her fiction and poetry. In settings ranging from the aching solitude of the Queen Charlotte Islands to the sweaty intensity of bandido apartments in Panama, the reader will find Musgrave musing with her legendary wit and pastiche, while creating graffiti-like impressions of the writer's essential take on those closest to her.

  • Author:
    Nickerson, Janice
    Summary:

    Not only professional soldiers but also citizens serving as militiamen participated in the War of 1812. The militia’s contribution to the War of 1812 is not well understood. Even now, 200 years later, we don’t know how many Upper Canadian militia men died defending their home.York’s Sacrifice profiles 39 men who lost their lives during the war. They include 19 residents of the Town of York, five residents of York County, and 11 residents of Halton, Peel, and Wentworth Counties. Where possible, biographies include information about each man’s origin, residence, occupation, civic life, family, militia service, and circumstances of death. A section on records provides detailed guidance in finding and using records from the period to trace an ancestors militia service and life in this difficult time period.A complete list of men who served in the three York regiments during the war identifies those who were killed, injured, captured, or deserted.

  • Author:
    Point Bolton, Rena, Daly, Richard
    Summary:

    Xwelíqwiya is the life story of Rena Point Bolton, a Stó:lō matriarch, artist, and craftswoman. Proceeding by way of conversational vignettes, the beginning chapters recount Point Bolton's early years on the banks of the Fraser River during the Depression. While at the time the Stó:lō, or Xwélmexw, as they call themselves today, kept secret their ways of life to avoid persecution by the Canadian government, Point Bolton’s mother and grandmother schooled her in the skills needed for living from what the land provides, as well as in the craftwork and songs of her people, passing on a duty to keep these practices alive. Point Bolton was taken to a residential school for the next several years and would go on to marry and raise ten children, but her childhood training ultimately set the stage for her roles as a teacher and activist. Recognizing the urgent need to forge a sense of cultural continuity among the younger members of her community, Point Bolton visited many communities and worked with federal, provincial, and First Nations politicians to help break the intercultural silence by reviving knowledge of and interest in Aboriginal art. She did so with the deft and heartfelt use of both her voice and her hands. Over the course of many years, Daly collaborated with Point Bolton to pen her story. At once a memoir, an oral history, and an “insider” ethnography directed and presented by the subject herself, the result attests both to Daly’s relationship with the family and to Point Bolton’s desire to inspire others to use traditional knowledge and experience to build their own distinctive, successful, and creative lives.

  • Author:
    Thompson, David, Moreau, William E.
    Summary:

    David Thompson's Travels is one of the finest early expressions of the Canadian experience. The work is not only the account of a remarkable life in the fur trade but an extended meditation on the land and Native peoples of western North America. The tale spans the years 1784 to 1807 and extends from the Great Lakes to the Rockies, from Athabasca to Missouri. A distinguished literary work, the Travels alternates between the expository prose of the scientist and the vivid language of the storyteller, animated throughout by a restless spirit of inquiry and sense of wonder. In the first volume of an ambitious three-volume project that will finally bring all of Thompson's writings together, editor William Moreau presents the Travels narrative as it existed in 1850, when the author was forced to abandon his work. Accompanying Moreau's transcription is an introductory essay and a textual introduction, extensive critical annotations, historical and modern maps, and a biographical appendix. The definitive collection of Thompson's works, The Writings of David Thompson will bring one of North American's most important early travellers and surveyors and his world to a whole new generation of readers.

  • Author:
    Abdou, Angie, 1969-, Dopp, Jamie, 1957-
    Summary:

    Sport literature is never just about sport. The genre's potential to explore the human condition, including aspects of violence, gender, and the body, has sparked the interest of writers, readers, and scholars. Over the last decade, a proliferation of sport literature courses across the continent is evidence of the sophisticated and evolving body of work developing in this area. Writing the Body in Motion offers introductory essays on the most commonly taught Canadian sport literature texts. The contributions sketch the state of current scholarship, highlight recurring themes and patterns, and offer close readings of key works. Organized chronologically by source text, ranging from Shoeless Joe (1982) to Indian Horse (2012), the essays offer a variety of ways to read, consider, teach, and write about sport literature.

  • Author:
    Mathis-Moser, Ursula
    Summary:

    This collection of essays examines how the sense of crisis that occasionally seems to overwhelm us directs and transforms Canadian and Quebec writings in English and French, and conversely, how literature and criticism set out to counterbalance the social, economic, and ideological insecurities we live in.

  • Author:
    Campbell, Lara, Dawson, Michael, Gidney, Catherine
    Summary:

    Historians, veterans, museums, and public education campaigns have all documented and commemorated the experience of Canadians in times of war. But Canada also has a long, rich, and important historical tradition of resistance to both war and militarization. This collection brings together the work of sixteen scholars on the history of war resistance. Together they explore resistance to specific wars (including the South African War, the First and Second World Wars, and Vietnam), the ideology and nature of resistance (national, ethical, political, spiritual), and organized activism against militarization (such as cadet training, the Cold War, and nuclear arms). As the federal government continues to support the commemoration and celebration of Canada's participation in past wars, this collection offers a timely response that explores the complexity of Canada's position in times of war and the role of social movements in challenging the militarization of Canadian society.

  • Author:
    Wolfe, Beatrice
    Summary:

    The topics of addictions, sex trafficking, and sexual exploitation are best understood through a personal story. Understanding how it happens in our own communities regardless of race, gender or religious background is helpful for individuals, businesses and faith communities to engage in some way. Beatrice's life story (and her book "Wolf Woman") is an inspiring journey from brokenness towards healing. At once heartbreaking and hope-filled, vulnerable and tenacious, Wolfe's story shows the resiliency of the human spirit and the power of healing to create real-life change.

  • Author:
    Olsen, Keith
    Summary:

    One winter in the 1960's Keith Olsen, his brother and parents went out to a trapline on Little Mahigan Lake in Northern Saskatchwan. Olsen recounts how his family made a success of this way of life with 2 young boys.

  • Author:
    Ditson, D. M.
    Summary:

    A first-hand account of a woman's struggle with sexual assault and abuse. Alternating between the past and present, the reader is taken into the author's past: her relationship with her fundamentalist Christian parents and her four sisters, and her relationships and one-night stands with the men she's been with over the years. By the end, we are actively involved in her recovery as she comes to terms with her violent sexual past in therapy, and ultimately finds peace and solace.

  • Author:
    Dupuis-Déri, Francis
    Summary:

    Faces masked, dressed in black, and forcefully attacking the symbols of capitalism, Black Blocs have been transformed into an anti-globalization media spectacle. But the popular image of the window-smashing thug hides a complex reality. Francis Dupuis-Déri outlines the origin of this phenomenon, its dynamics, and its goals, arguing that the use of violence always takes place in an ethical and strategic context. Translated into English for the first time and completely revised and updated to include the most recent Black Bloc actions at protests in Greece, Germany, Canada, and England, and the Bloc's role in the Occupy movement and the Quebec student strike, Black Blocs lays out a comprehensive view of the Black Bloc tactic and locates it within the anarchist tradition of direct action. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the National Translation Program for Book Publishing, an initiative of the Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities, for our translation activities.

  • Author:
    Malleson, Tom, Wachsmuth, David
    Summary:

    In June 2010 activists opposing the G20 meeting held in Toronto were greeted with arbitrary state violence on a scale never before seen in Canada. Whose Streets? is a combination of testimonials from the front lines and analyses of the broader context, an account that both reflects critically on what occurred in Toronto and looks ahead to further building our capacity for resistance. Featuring reflections from activists who helped organize the mobilizations, demonstrators and passersby who were arbitrarily arrested and detained, and scholars committed to the theory and practice of confronting neoliberal capitalism, the collection balances critical perspective with on-the-street intensity. It offers vital insight for activists on how local organizing and global activism can come together.

  • Author:
    Kinsman, Gary, Buse, Dieter K., Steedman, Mercedes
    Summary:

    Would you believe that RCMP operatives used to spy on Tupperware parties? In the 1950s and ’60s they did. They also monitored high school students, gays and lesbians, trade unionists, left-wing political groups, feminists, consumer's associations, Black activists, First Nations people, and Quebec sovereignists. The establishment of a tenacious Canadian security state came as no accident. On the contrary, the highest levels of government and the police, along with non-governmental interests and institutions, were involved in a concerted campaign. The security state grouped ordinary Canadians into dozens of political stereotypes and labelled them as threats. Whose National Security? probes the security state's ideologies and hidden agendas, and sheds light on threats to democracy that persist to the present day. The contributors varied approaches open up avenues for reconceptualizing the nature of spying.

  • Author:
    Garrett-Petts, W.F., Hoffman, James, Ratsoy, Ginny
    Summary:

    Whose Culture Is It Anyway? Community Engagement in Small Cities extends the project, begun in The Small Cities Book: On the Cultural Future of Small Cities, by examining the cultural dynamics of the small city in a wide ranging context, now looking at activities in an array of geographies, economies, and cultural settings, as well as particularities such as the inner city, brownfield sites, an online conference on the art of engagement, and cultural indicators. Whose Culture Is It, Anyway? is a major contribution to the growing body of literature on the special character and value of small cities, especially aspects of their unique culture. This book, in focusing on community engagement in the arts in small cities, offers particular and theoretical perspectives on small cities in Canada and beyond.

  • Author:
    May, Elizabeth
    Summary:

    In this marriage of memoir and manifesto, Elizabeth May reflects on her extraordinary life and the people and experiences that have formed her and informed her beliefs about democracy, climate change, and other crucial issues facing Canadians. The book traces her development from child activist who warned other children not to eat snow because it contained Strontium 90 to waitress and cook on Cape Breton Island to law student, lawyer, and environmentalist and finally to leader of the Green Party and first elected Green Party Member of Parliament.
    As a result of these disparate experiences, May has come to believe that Canada must strengthen its weakened democracy, return to its role as a world leader, develop a green economy, and take drastic action to address climate change. Who We Are also sets out how these goals might be accomplished, incorporating the thoughts of such leaders and thinkers as Rachel Carson, Jim MacNeill, Joe Clark, Chris Turner, Andrew Nikiforuk, and Robert F. Kennedy. The result is a fascinating portrait of a remarkable woman and an urgent call to action.

  • Author:
    Starkins, Edward
    Summary:

    New Edition as part City of Vancouver’s Legacy Book Project, with foreword by historian Daniel Francis.

    Who Killed Janet Smith? examines one of the most infamous and still unsolved murder cases in Canadian history: the 1924 murder of twenty-two-year-old Scottish nursemaid Janet Smith. Originally published in 1984, and out of print for over a decade, this tale of intrigue, racism, privilege, and corruption in high places is a true-crime recreation that reads like a complex thriller. We are pleased to be reissuing this title as part of the City of Vancouver’s Legacy Book Project. This new edition features a Foreword by historian Daniel Francis.

    Praise for Who Killed Janet Smith? “… drug traffic, Roaring Twenties hedonism, official corruption, cutthroat competition among newspapers, a public taste for occultism, etc.—and entrust the whole works to a good storyteller, and you have one terrific political history of Vancouver.” (Geist Magazine) “Starkins has written an engaging and well-crafted popular social history of Vancouver in the ostensibly hopeful, materially buoyant ‘flapper era’ between the end of the slaughter of the Great War and the onset of the Depression. He reveals the serious fault-lines and profound anxieties of a community emerging in this decade from both its recent frontier past and a costly war into becoming a settled North American city. … this is a very worthwhile and informative case study, one that is likely to keep the conundrum in the title alive and encourage further research on the topic. … And who did kill Janet Smith and why? Despite the author’s attempt to follow up as many leads as he could find, the answer remains elusive. Despite the presence of a smoking gun, whose hand pressed the trigger is still a mystery, although in an updated afterword Starkins warms to one explanation. As with all mysteries, that should remain for now a mystery.” (BC Studies) “Mr. Starkins excavates each layer of the story like an archaeologist with a trowel and camel-hair brush. He misses nothing. The result is one of those unputdownable reads that stays in your memory.” (Howard Engel)

  • Author:
    Summary:

    Presents a diverse collection of stories about the joys and struggles of immigrant women living in Canada. Often bringing with them the shadow of war and the guilt of leaving, the women in this new anthology expose their emotional pain but also their gratitude for being able to call Canada home. Their stories paint touching portraits of cultural and linguistic misunderstandings, bureaucratic hurdles, attempts to navigate unfamiliar landscapes, and a desire to be accepted despite differences in accent, skin colour, or taste in food. Together they form a mosaic of emotions and worldviews that underline the immigrant condition for women. A Filipino woman recalls her experience as a six-year-old immigrant in a ghetto in Mississauga in the 80s. A same-sex couple moves from Minnesota to Ontario to find refuge for their love, but first they must drive through a blizzard and make it through the frustrating net of Canadian bureaucracy. In search of her origins, a Jewish woman travels to her birthplace in Passau, Germany. There, among rows of European picturesque houses and foreign tombstones of a Jewish cemetery, she finds no memories, only the shadow of Hitler and the ghosts of her parents. Through these stories of courage, aloneness, and hope, new and established writers reach out to both immigrants and those whose families long ago ceased to identify with the immigrant label. Through their struggles and, at times, endearingly critical looks at Canada, they remind us that many of our perceived divisions are nothing but artificial creations of mind and that all of us are past, current, or potential immigrants.

  • Author:
    Butala, Sharon
    Summary:

    An intimate and uplifting book about finding renewal and hope through grief and loss. "It was a terrible life; it was an enchanted life; it was a blessed life. And, of course, one day it ended." -Sharon Butala In the tradition of Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, Diana Athill's Somewhere Towards the End, and Atul Gawande's Being Mortal comes a revelatory new book from one of our beloved writers. When Sharon Butala's husband, Peter, died unexpectedly, she found herself with no place to call home. Torn by grief and loss, she fled the ranchlands of southwest Saskatchewan and moved to the city, leaving almost everything behind. A lifetime of possessions was reduced to a few boxes of books, clothes, and keepsakes. But a lifetime of experience went with her, and a limitless well of memory-of personal failures, of a marriage that everybody said would not last but did, of the unbreakable bonds of family. Reinventing herself in an urban landscape was painful, and facing her new life as a widow tested her very being. Yet out of this hard-won new existence comes an astonishingly frank, compassionate and moving memoir that offers not only solace and hope but inspiration to those who endure profound loss. Often called one of this country's true visionaries, Sharon Butala shares her insights into the grieving process and reveals the small triumphs and funny moments that kept her going. Where I Live Now is profound in its understanding of the many homes women must build for themselves in a lifetime.

  • Author:
    Doyle, Alan
    Summary:

    From the lead singer of the band Great Big Sea comes a memoir about growing up in the tiny fishing village of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, and then taking to the world stage. Alan paints a vivid and raucous portrait of a curious young lad born into the small coastal fishing community of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, a childhood surrounded by larger-than-life characters who made an indelible impression on his music and work; of his first job on the wharf cutting out cod tongues for fishermen; of growing up in a family of five in a two-bedroom house with a beef-bucket as a toilet, yet lacking nothing; of learning at his father's knee how to sing the story of a song and learning from his mother how to simply "be good." Small-town life, curiosity and creative fulfillment, and finally, about leaving everything you know behind only to learn that no matter where you go, home will always be with you.

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