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Canadian nonfiction

  • Author:
    Andersen, Chris
    Summary:

    Ask any Canadian what “Métis” means, and they will likely say “mixed race.” Canadians consider Métis mixed in ways that other Indigenous people are not, and the census and courts have premised their recognition of Métis status on this race-based understanding. Andersen argues that Canada got it wrong. From its roots deep in the colonial past, the idea of Métis as mixed has slowly pervaded the Canadian consciousness until it settled in the realm of common sense. In the process, “Métis” has become a racial category rather than the identity of an Indigenous people with a shared sense of history and culture.

  • Author:
    Oldford, Winston
    Summary:

    'Tis a Wonderful Time to Be Alive is Winston Oldford’s personal account of growing up in Burnside, Bonavista Bay, in the 1940s and 1950s.

    The tiny community underwent a baptism by fire—literally—in the early twentieth century. Following a devastating forest fire in the area in 1912, the settlements of Squid Tickle and Holletts Cove became known, collectively, as Burnside. Today, with a population close to 200, it is one of seven communities on the Eastport Peninsula.

    This book takes a look at the history of Burnside, as well as the day-to-day lives of those who have lived in the community over the last two centuries. Winston Oldford takes the reader on a guided tour of his hometown and the cultural foundations upon which Burnside was built.

  • Author:
    Clarke, Austin
    Summary:

    2016 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature — Longlisted 2016 RBC Taylor Prize — Longlisted The unforgettable memoir of Giller Prize–winning author and poet Austin Clarke, called “Canada’s first multicultural writer.” Austin Clarke is a distinguished and celebrated novelist and short-story writer. His works often centre around the immigrant experience, of which he writes with humour and compassion, happiness and sorrow. In ’Membering, Clarke shares his own experiences growing up in Barbados and moving to Toronto to attend university in 1955 before becoming a journalist. With vivid realism he describes Harlem of the ’60s, meeting and interviewing Malcolm X and writers Chinua Achebe and LeRoi Jones. Clarke went on to become a pioneering instructor of Afro-American Literature at Yale University and inspired a new generation of Afro-American writers. Clarke has been called Canada’s first multicultural writer. Here he eschews a traditional chronological order of events and takes the reader on a lyrical tour of his extraordinary life, interspersed with thought-provoking meditations on politics and race. Telling things as he ’members them.

  • Author:
    Labbé, Pierrick
    Summary:

    En 1863, un groupe de travailleurs originaires du Québec et domiciliés à Ottawa décident de fonder une association de prévoyance pour aider leurs prochains dans le besoin. En s'inspirant de leurs expériences respectives au sein d'associations de prévoyance québécoises, les fondateurs établissent une première société de secours mutuels canadienne-française à Ottawa : l'Union Saint-Joseph d'Ottawa. Malgré une naissance et des débuts modestes, cette association connaîtra une grande histoire. Elle deviendra l'une des plus grandes sociétés fraternelles nationales, avec des ramifications dans plus de 600 communautés canadiennes-françaises du Canada et des États-Unis. Cet ouvrage analyse la fondation de l'Union Saint-Joseph d'Ottawa et son évolution entre 1863 et 1920. Durant cette période, cette petite association locale, dont les activités visent essentiellement le secours de la classe populaire, évolue pour devenir une grande société fraternelle nationale vouée à la sauvegarde des intérêts des Canadiens français. L’essentiel de ces mutations survient à la fin du XIXe siècle, alors qu’une petite élite entreprend des réformes administratives qui changent la manière de gérer la mutualité. Cette élite en profite également pour reformuler le projet social de l’association et ses objectifs afin de transformer l'Union Saint-Joseph en un instrument de lutte pour la survivance canadienne-française.

  • Author:
    Kociejowski, Marius
    Summary:

    Bringing together the best of Marius Kociejowski's travel writing, 'Zoroaster's Children'snags on the borderline between dream and meaning, offering unusual glimpses of some of the places, exotic or 'otherwise, the author has been. 'Attracted to society's outcasts'as it is these, he argues, which point towards an underground of conformity that will not contain them'Kociejowksi offers in these essays glimpses of locales as diverse and seemingly divergent as Prague, Tunisia, Moscow, Aleppo and Toronto, among others. By turns empathetic and virtuosic, and always on the lookout for the deeper meaning seeded inside language, the essays in'Zoroaster's Children'evince the deep absorption in a people and a place which are the hallmark of all great travel writers.

  • Author:
    McDonald, Tracy, Vandersommers, Daniel
    Summary:

    Do both the zoo and the mental hospital induce psychosis, as humans are treated as animals and animals are treated as humans? How have we looked at animals in the past, and how do we look at them today? How have zoos presented themselves, and their purpose, over time? In response to the emergence of environmental and animal studies, anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers, theorists, literature scholars, and historians around the world have begun to explore the significance of zoological parks, past and present. Zoo Studies considers the modern zoo from a range of approaches and disciplines, united in a desire to blur the boundaries between human and nonhuman animals. The volume begins with an account of the first modern mental hospital, La Salpêtrière, established in 1656, and the first panoptical zoo, the menagerie at Versailles, created in 1662 by the same royal architect; the final chapter presents a choreographic performance that imagines the Toronto Zoo as a place where the human body can be inspired by animal bodies. From beginning to end, through interdisciplinary collaboration, this volume decentres the human subject and offers alternative ways of thinking about zoos and their inhabitants. This collection immerses readers in the lives of animals and their experiences of captivity and asks us to reflect on our own assumptions about both humans and animals. An original and groundbreaking work, Zoo Studies will change the way readers see nonhuman animals and themselves.

  • Author:
    Byers, Daniel
    Summary:

    Zombie Army tells the story of Canada’s Second World War military conscripts – reluctant soldiers pejoratively referred to as “zombies” for their perceived similarity to the mindless movie monsters of the 1930s. In the first full-length book on the subject in almost forty years, Byers combines underused and newly discovered records to argue that although conscripts were only liable for home defence, they soon became a steady source of recruits from which the army found volunteers to serve overseas. He also challenges the traditional nationalist-dominated impression that Quebec participated only grudgingly in the war.

  • Author:
    Breslin, Mark
    Summary:

    From the club that introduced such stars as Jim Carrey, Mike Bullard, Howie Mandel, Norm MacDonald, and Russell Peters, along with dozens more, The Yuk Yuk's Guide to Canadian Stand-Up is guaranteed to make milk come out of your nose. Mark Breslin - founder of Yuk Yuk's, the largest chain of comedy clubs in North America, and the initial force behind XM Satellite Radio Canada's comedy channel - narrates the past, present, and future of Canadian comedy. Following the explosion of talent from the mid-70s to today, Breslin explores the unique qualities that make Canadian stand-up unique. Listeners are treated to behind-the-scenes stories of great comics and clubs, as well as to excerpts from an array of favourite routines by well-known performers. Breslin brings to life the history of Canadian comedy with hours of vintage performances from Yuk Yuk's comprehensive and exclusive archives. Representing the classic work of some of Hollywood's biggest stars, along with current and past gems, The Yuk Yuk's Guide to Canadian Stand-Up is 100 percent Canadian and the only audio collection of its kind.

  • Author:
    Myers, Tamara Gene
    Summary:

    Starting in the 1930s, urban police forces from New York City to Montreal to Vancouver established youth squads and crime prevention programs, dramatically changing the nature of contact between cops and kids. Gone was the beat officer who scared children and threatened youth. Instead, a new breed of officer emerged whose intentions were explicit: befriend the rising generation. Good intentions, however, produced paradoxical results. In Youth Squad Tamara Gene Myers chronicles the development of youth consciousness among North American police departments. Myers shows that a new comprehensive strategy for crime prevention was predicated on the idea that criminals are not born but made by their cultural environments. Pinpointing the origin of this paradigmatic shift to a period of optimism about the ability of police to protect children, she explains how, by the middle of the twentieth century, police forces had intensified their presence in children's lives through juvenile curfew laws, police athletic leagues, traffic safety and anti-corruption campaigns, and school programs. The book describes the ways that seemingly altruistic efforts to integrate working-class youth into society evolved into pervasive supervision and surveillance, normalizing the police presence in children's lives. At the intersection of juvenile justice, policing, and childhood history, Youth Squad reveals how the overpolicing of young people today is rooted in well-meaning but misguided schemes of the mid-twentieth century.

  • Author:
    Baum, Daniel J.
    Summary:

    Real cases from the Supreme Court dealing with youth issues. Laws, as they relate to youth and youth issues, can be difficult to understand for those they are intended to serve. In the first book of the Understanding Canadian Law series, author Daniel J. Baum breaks down the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions relating to youth in plain language intended for readers of all ages. Drawing on examples from recent Supreme Court rulings, Youth and the Law walks the reader through such controversial subjects as spanking, bullying, youth violence, and police in the schools. Each chapter contains prompts to encourage critical thinking. Youth and the Law is an objective introduction for all readers to better understand how law impacts the young.

  • Author:
    Peddie, Francis, Loewen, Royden
    Summary:

    Between 1973 and 1978, six thousand Chileans leftists took refuge in central Canada after the Pinochet coup d’état. Once resettled at the northern extreme of the Americas, these political exiles had to find ways of coping with an abrupt and violent separation from their homeland that had deep material and emotional repercussions. In Young, Well-Educated, and Adaptable, Francis Peddie documents the experiences of twenty-one Chileans as they navigate their newfound identity as exiles. Peddie also considers how the admission of people from the wrong side of the Cold War ideological divide had an effect on Canadian immigration and refugee policy, establishing a precedent for the admission of political exiles over the decades that followed.

  • Author:
    Blizzard, Christina
    Summary:

    A day-by-day celebration in words and photographs of the young couple’s first tour of Canada. On April 29, 2011, Prince William of Wales married Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London. The newlyweds’ first royal tour took place in Canada from June 30 to July 8. People across the country rejoiced with the couple as they made their way through a land that holds special significance for the Royal Family, emphasizing and renewing the bond with Canada. This was not the Duke of Cambridges first trip "home to Canada," since he accompanied his parents, Charles and Diana, in 1991 and his father and brother, Harry, in 1998. This journey included such highlights as Canada Day in Ottawa, dragon boating in Prince Edward Island, visiting homeless youth in Quebec City, street hockey in Yellowknife, and a side trip to help bolster the courage of fire-devastated citizens in Slave Lake, Alberta. The Duke and Duchess presented the vibrant, modern face of the Royal Family, and excitement followed them everywhere as they travelled across Canada.

  • Author:
    Wilson, Sharry
    Summary:

    Young Neil is a detailed chronological narrative of the early life of iconic Canadian musician Neil Young. Exploring a time in this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s life that has yet to be documented with such depth of research, Young Neil is an exhaustive document of his “Sugar Mountain” years, from 1945 to 1966. From his birth in Toronto through his school years in Florida, Ontario, and Manitoba, the book examines the development of Young’s unique talent against a backdrop of shifting postwar values, a turbulent family history, and a musical revolution in the making. Includes many previously unseen photos, memorabilia, and set lists.

  • Author:
    Hunter, Martin
    Summary:

    Taking inspiration from John Glassco's Memoirs of Montparnasse, Young Hunting is both a story of discovery and transformation. While Toronto changes around him, from a puritanical British colonial outpost to a mixing bowl filled with colourful cultural components, a young boy emerges from his middle class childhood to become a flamboyant adolescent, a questioning adult who refuses to accept conventional wisdom. The Toronto of the '40s and '50s is often painted as the epitome of dull convention--but this was clearly not Martin Hunter's experience. The child of eastern Ontario farmers, he was exposed to fundamentalist Presbyterian values; yet at the same time he was connecting with a number of remarkable artists who profoundly influenced the course of his young life. In Young Hunting, the dichotomy is personified by Hunter's two closest friends: Dick, who would become an Academy Award-winning animator; and Jimmy, who would go on to become the minister of Canada's largest Presbyterian church. The pull of each of these influences was strong, and each helped define both Hunter's youth and developing view of life. Along the way, he soaked up vast and varied experience: as an actor in a children's theatre company; a boarder at an evangelical summer camp; a messenger delivering samples on Queen Street; an officer cadet in the Royal Canadian Navy; a student at Oxbridge-inspired Trinity College; and as a labourer at both a mining camp in the Yukon and a paper mill in Quebec. And while, as Young Hunting explains, Martin Hunter 'thoroughly enjoyed the often ludicrous pretension of these various institutions,' it was not until he escaped to fulfill his 'dreams of high culture' that he gained true perspective on his life's journey--discovering that Europe's vaunted old world cultural superiority was just as hollow as the institutions of his homeland.

  • 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:
    Joynt, Chase, Hoolboom, Mike
    Summary:

    "Chase Joynt and Mike Hoolboom here give each other the gift so many people only dream of: ample, unhurried space to unspool crucial stories of one's life, and an attentive, impassioned, invested, intelligent receiver on the other side. The gift to the reader is both the example of their exchange, and the nuanced, idiosyncratic, finely rendered examination it offers of biopolitical experiences which, in many ways, define our times. I'm so glad they have each other, and that we have this." - Maggie Nelson "You Only Live Twice is an intelligent ode to enchantment, to the possibilities that arise in their 'second lives' when all past expectations have been foreclosed." - Chris Kraus "The writing is out of the park-strong and surprising, a relay race of brilliant twirling, tossing thoughts back and forth like balletic rugby bros. Joynt and Hoolboom's dances of disclosure are so courageous and generative, gifts to us all." - John Greyson What if it's not true that you only live once' In this genre-transcending work of true fiction, trans writer and media artist Chase Joynt and HIV-positive movie artist Mike Hoolboom come together over the films of Chris Marker to exchange transition tales: confessional missives that map out the particularities of what they call "second lives": Chase's transition from female to male and Mike's near-death from AIDS in the 1990s. Chronicling reactions from friends and families, medical mechanics, and different versions of "coming out,' YOLT explores art, love, sex, death, and life in changed bodies. The unspoken promise was that in our second life we would become the question to every answer, jumping across borders until they finally dissolved. Man and woman. Queer and straight. Mike Hoolboom is an author and filmmaker based in Toronto. He has written four books, received more than thirty international film prizes, and enjoyed nine international retrospectives of his work. Chase Joynt is a Toronto-based moving-image artist and writer who has exhibited his work internationally. He recently received a Mellon Fellowship in Arts Practice and Scholarship at the University of Chicago.

  • Author:
    Summary:

    This is a book about women and ageism. There are twenty-nine contributing writers, ranging in age from their forties to their nineties. Through essays, short stories, and poetry, they share their distinct opinions, impressions, and speculations on aging and ageism and their own growth as people. In these thoughtful, fierce, and funny works, the writers show their belief in women and the aging process. Contributors: Rona Altrows, Debbie Bateman, Moni Brar, Maureen Bush, Sharon Butala, Jane Cawthorne, Joan Crate, Dora Dueck, Cecelia Frey, Ariel Gordon, Elizabeth Greene, Vivian Hansen, Joyce Harries, Elizabeth Haynes, Paula E. Kirman, Joy Kogawa, Laurie MacFayden, JoAnn McCaig, Wendy McGrath, E.D. Morin, Lisa Murphy Lamb, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Olyn Ozbick, Roberta Rees, Julie Sedivy, Madelaine Shaw-Wong, Anne Sorbie, Aritha van Herk, Laura Wershler.

  • Author:
    Summary:

    You Look Good for Your Age is a collection of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry about ageism by 29 women writers ranging in age from forties to nineties. The anthology responds to a culture that values youth and that positions aging in women as a failure. Questions arise. What effects do negative social assumptions have on women as they age? What messages about aging do we pass on to our daughters? Through essays, short stories, and poetry, the contributing writers explore these questions with thoughtfulness, satire, and fury. Contributors: Rona Altrows, Debbie Bateman, Moni Brar, Maureen Bush, Sharon Butala, Jane Cawthorne, Joan Crate, Dora Dueck, Cecelia Frey, Ariel Gordon, Elizabeth Greene, Vivian Hansen, Joyce Harries, Elizabeth Haynes, Paula Kirman, Joy Kogawa, Laurie MacFayden, JoAnn McCaig, Wendy McGrath, E.D. Morin, Lisa Murphy Lamb, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Olyn Ozbick, Roberta Rees, Julie Sedivy, Madelaine Shaw-Wong, Anne Sorbie, Aritha van Herk, Laura Wershler.

  • Author:
    Green, Lyndsay
    Summary:

    Are you ready to live a long time, or do you dread it? Recent medical advances mean we could live longer, but doesn’t guarantee the quality of that life. In the words of one senior, "We’re not living longer, we’re dying longer." The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Getting older doesn’t have to mean living a limited life. Author Lyndsay Green has interviewed forty successful seniors to talk not just about the problems of old age but its strength and benefits. These seniors were from all walks of life and from all over the country, living in Victoria, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Kingston and Halifax, aged 75 to 100. They have been identified as the self-reliant seniors we would like to be and they share their wisdom and strategies for independent and happy living. The book combines their advice with cutting edge research, to arrive at specific suggestions for what we should be doing now to prepare for old age, and includes resources to help us implement the advice, including:Money isn’t everything, and won’t cure ill-health or loneliness.Cultivate new friendships now.To keep your dignity, give up your pride.You need a work plan, instead of a retirement planTo keep a home, consider leaving your house.If you push too hard to stay young you’ll get old faster.The unique message is that we should not try to avoid old age. Instead of trying to do the impossible to stay forever young, Green comes to the radical conclusion that in order to get as much as possible out of our old age we will need to embrace it.

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