Wandering the haunted city

Book review by Daniel Gawthrop posted on The British Columbia Review on January 14, 2023 Random Walks: New West from the Street by Alan Haig-Brown White Rock: Image West Productions, 2022 $36.95 / 9780994817525 When I first saw this book available for review, I snapped it up right away. I love going for walks in New Westminster, where I live, and was eager to compare notes with another resident’s experience of the city by foot. Making…

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A catalogue for the ages

Book review by Daniel Gawthrop posted on The British Columbia Review on December 20, 2022 The Bob Dylan Albums 2nd Edition by Anthony Varesi  Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2022 $34.95 / 9781771837590 In the autumn of 1964, a precocious Bob Dylan — who had just released his fourth studio album at age twenty-three — told a writer from The New Yorker that he was moving on from “finger-pointing songs” about what’s wrong with the world, already…

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Goaltender, heal thyself

Book review by Daniel Gawthrop posted on The British Columbia Review on November 11, 2022 The Save of My Life: My Journey Out of the Dark by Corey Hirsch, with Sean Patrick Conboy Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2022 $32.99 / 9781443461092 * It must be hard to write a good topical hockey book these days. The goalposts, as it were, keep shifting on the zeitgeist as Canada’s national sport transforms with every breaking news story. A decade…

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Get lost, young man

Book review by Daniel Gawthrop posted on The British Columbia Review on October 25, 2022 Lost in the Valley of Death: A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas by Harley Rustad Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Knopf Canada), 2022 $34.00 / 9780735279469 * For some readers, stories like this one are a tempting invitation to satire. There is, after all, much fodder for lampoonery in the cautionary tale of an earnest, young, able-bodied,…

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Pope Francis, The Apology, and the optics of performative penitence

  Gosh, that was some “penitential pilgrimage,” wasn’t it? Now that his visit to Canada is over, Pope Francis must be counting his blessings. After all, the historic and long-awaited papal apology on native land—an act of contrition for the terrible injustices that Indigenous children experienced in Church-run residential schools—went off pretty much as he might have planned it. His Holiness enjoyed saturation media coverage during a slow news week in the host country (even…

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