New Star Blogs

The New Star Review of Reviews :: A roundup of recent write-ups


Hav­ing had a chance to catch our cor­po­rate breath after an intense Sep­tem­ber / Octo­ber / Novem­ber of book releas­es and book launch­es, it’s time to get caught up with our New Star Review of Reviews, in which we link to some recent men­tions of those very books we’ve been work­ing on all year.

9781554200689-voyage-3DNo doubt about it, the 2013 New Star title cur­rent­ly gar­ner­ing the most atten­tion is Graeme Tru­elove’s Svend Robin­son: A Life in Pol­i­tics. Ten years out of the lime­light doesn’t seem to have damp­ened people’s fas­ci­na­tion about the long-time Burn­a­by MP.

Over on, Robinson’s old com­rade-in-arms Judy Rebick writes a long and appre­cia­tive review of Truelove’s biog­ra­phy. The site fea­tures pho­tos of the Toron­to launch on Novem­ber 30 at Fron­tier Col­lege. Kudos to the web­site Gay Van­cou­ver, which chose to take the less obvi­ous path by inter­view­ing the straight author rather than the gay sub­ject of his book. Robin­son is sched­uled to be a guest on Pow­er and Pol­i­tics, host­ed by Evan Solomon, lat­er this month.

Per­haps the most mov­ing review is this one by Lyn­da Philippsen on her blog, The Way of Words. Phillipsen was Truelove’s high school Human­i­ties and Eng­lish teacher, and as her review makes plain, she tried to be a very fair teacher to all of her stu­dents. And Xtra! fea­tured Svend Robin­son on the cov­er of their Novem­ber 21 — Decem­ber 4 issue.

Here’s a gallery of pho­tos by Truelove’s new bride, event pho­tog­ra­ph­er Janine Bell. Shots are from the Van­cou­ver, Ottawa, and Toron­to launch­es for Svend Robin­son: A Life in Pol­i­tics, as well as the Novem­ber 16 book sign­ing at Chap­ters Straw­ber­ry Hill, where the young author spent many an after­noon.

9781554200689-voyage-3DAnoth­er recent New Star title that’s gen­er­at­ing a cer­tain amount of warmth is Rolf Knight’s mem­oir Voy­age Through the Past Cen­tu­ry, pub­lished this past spring. The book has its devo­tees, includ­ing Alan Twigg, who devotes the cen­tre­spread of the cur­rent issue of BC Book­world, with Dou­glas Cou­p­land on the cov­er, to a long and appre­cia­tive review-essay about Knight’s Voy­age. Alex Var­ty wrote an appre­cia­tive review in the Geor­gia Straight. Anoth­er fan is Daniel Fran­cis, the North Van­cou­ver-based his­to­ri­an who wrote about Voy­age Through the Past Cen­tu­ry on the 49th Shelf book review blog (scroll down). Not every­one loves Knight: a forth­com­ing BC Stud­ies review by John Belshaw crit­i­cizes the book for the very thing that oth­er review­ers seem to like most: Knight’s sharp obser­va­tions and even sharp­er tongue. (He also seems pre­oc­cu­pied with cor­rect­ing the his­tor­i­cal record: John is NO RELATION to Cyril Belshaw, long­time UBC anthro­pol­o­gist.) And there’s a review in the bran’ new Geist, No. 90 (wow!), not on-line, which I’ll have to rush out now and buy.

And, but also:

9781554200689-voyage-3DVladimir Keremid­schi­eff’s book of pho­tos, Seize the Time: Van­cou­ver Pho­tographed, 1967–1974, is start­ing to get some atten­tion. Over on the Van­cou­ver Is Awe­some web­site, Lani Russ­wurm, who has his own very fine dog in the show, Van­cou­ver Was Awe­some, pub­lished by Arse­nal Pulp Press, nev­er­the­less lists Seize the Time as a Great Gift Idea on his own blog. Now that’s class.… Ronald Liv­ersedge’s posthu­mous­ly pub­lished Mac-Pap: Mem­oir of a Cana­di­an in The Span­ish Civ­il War was reviewed in the Geor­gia Straight.… rob mclen­nan per­am­bu­lates Peter Cul­ley’s Park­way, and talks about Culley’s “Ham­mer­town” project, over on his epony­mous rob mclennan’s blog.…On Sep­tem­ber 19, Mark Leier was fea­tured in Simon Fras­er Uni­ver­si­ty’s down­town series of talks, Heroes and Vil­lains. The event dou­bled as a book­launch for the new­ly released update of his Rebel Life: The Life and Times of Robert Gos­den, Rev­oluionary, Mys­tic, Labour Spy, orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in 1999. Leier’s high­ly inter­est­ing talk about Gos­den, and about his book about Gos­den, can be viewed here on the SFU site.… Seat­tle poet and crit­ic Paul Nel­son takes on George Stan­ley’s spring release After Desire here. Mean­while, the Geor­gia Straight asked Stan­ley, and a bunch of oth­er writ­ers, to name the book that changed their lives, and Stanley’s choice is, typ­i­cal­ly, not one you’d expect a poet to cite.