“Too wise to woo peaceably”

The scornful lovers Benedick and Beatrice merge with La Dolce Vita in Bard on the Beach’s clever adaptation of Much About About Nothing starring Amber Lewis and two Vespas. FULL STORY

Who’s Who

Susan Alexander

A is for Alexander
A cow-eyed goddess steals a nymph’s tongue. Steering wheels are taken over by octopi. These are some of the images in Susan Alexander’s book of poems The Dance Floor Tilts (Thistledown $17.95), due for publication this fall. Her wide-ranging imagination is fuelled by eclectic experiences according to the book’s publicity, including: work as a chambermaid, CBC Radio journalist, and associate at a boutique investment firm, as well as being a stay-at-home mom and reflecting on family history and her passions. Alexander is the winner of the 2016 Short Grain poetry prize and the 2015 Vancouver Writers’ Festival Contest. Her poems have been published in SubTerrain, Arc, CV2, Grain, Room, The Antigonish Review, and PRISM international.  978-1-77187-152-5

Yvonne Blomer

B is for Blomer
Victoria’s Poet Laureate (appointed in 2015 for a 4-year term) also writes creative non-fiction. Yvonne Blomer’s recently published Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur (Palimpsest Press $19.95) chronicles her three months spent cycling with her husband through Southeast Asia. A type one diabetic since childhood, she describes the daily challenges of her chronic illness in this memoir as well as her passion for cycling. Passages abound with a combination of pain and found beauty. Take for example, Blomer’s first encounter with a mountainside of tea bushes on a day when she got off her bike and hiked: “I am dizzy and shaky now, an unrelenting pressure throbs in my head and behind my eyes but I am determined not to miss anything… We climb up to the look-out and cast our eyes over the green hillsides. I have never seen tea bushes before. They are a dark, rich green and even from this distance the strong aroma of tea wafts toward us on the humid air. I breathe in deeply. It is like inhaling a hot cup of tea.” Born in Zimbabwe, Yvonne Blomer came to Canada at age two. She completed a Master’s degree at the University of East Anglia. She organizes the Planet Earth Poetry Reading Series in Victoria. This led her to co-edit with Cynthia Woodman Kerkham, Poems from Planet Earth (Leaf Press 2013) featuring 117 poems from the Planet Earth Poetry platform in Victoria that is named after the late P.K. Page’s poem titled Planet Earth. Blomer’s first book of poems, a broken mirror, fallen leaf (Ekstasis 2006) was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial award. 978-1-92679439-6

Kristi Charish

C is for Charish
Kristi Charish adds a third title to her “Owl” fantasy series, about the ongoing adventures of a girl who is an antiquities thief – a modern day Indiana Jane navigating a hidden supernatural world. Owl and the Electric Samurai (Gallery $18) follows Alix Hiboux, better known as Owl, as she seeks to save two game designers upon whom the International Archaeology Association (IAA) has opened a bounty. The designers are important because they built Owl’s favourite role-playing game, World Quest. She needs to find the notorious gaming duo before other IAA mercenaries do. But the game designers won’t be easily found since every clue suggests they’re hiding out in the legendary lost city of Shangri-La. To complicate things, the supernatural community is in turmoil when ancient alliances break down and struggles for power erupt. Owl and her friends are dragged into a deadly game of wits with an opponent who calls himself the Electric Samurai. The cost of losing is an all-out civil war between two powerful supernatural factions. Ancient cities, ruthless mercenaries, and feuding supernatural armies? Just another day on the job for Owl. In addition to her Owl series, Vancouver-based Kristi Charish also launched a new urban fantasy series with The Voodoo Killings (Vintage Canada 2016) introducing the character Kincaid Strange, a voodoo practitioner. She studied archaeology and zoology, achieving her BSc and MSc from Simon Fraser University in molecular biology and biochemistry; and a PhD in Zoology at the University of British Columbia. She has worked as a scientific adviser for fantasy and science fiction writer Diana Rowland and is co-host of the Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing Podcast. 978-1-50113-973-4

Wendy Donawa

D is for Donawa
In her first published collection of poetry, Thin Air of the Knowable (Brick $20), Wendy Donawa writes of the physical landscapes of her life – from the prairies to the Caribbean, and finally to the West Coast. Landscape also functions as metaphor to suggest how historical settings play out in the exigencies of lives. Donawa lives in Victoria. She was formerly a museum curator in Barbados. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, magazines and online publications in Canada. She was a finalist in The Malahat Review’s 2013 Open Season competition, and in 2015 she was a runner-up in the Cedric Literary Awards. She has also published two chapbooks. 978-1-77131-460-26

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Karen Enns

E is for Enns
In her third collection of poetry, Cloud Physics (University of Regina $19.95), Karen Enns focuses on endings – cultural, ecological, and personal. Endings may be viewed as tragic but throughout Enns peppers her lines with affirmations of love, music and language. The importance of being rooted in place and history is another favorite topic that she mines for inspiration. Enns is a former pianist and this collection is informed as much by music as her love of language. Her first book, That Other Beauty was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award, and her second, Ordinary Hours was shortlisted for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. 978-0-88977-461-2

Alan Fossen

F is for Fossen
In his Freedom in East Vancouver, The Photography and Writing of Alan Fossen (Vancouver: Electromagnetic Print, $65), photographer Al Fossen has documented the eastside of Vancouver via “people, posters, protests and places” during the 1980s and 1990s. In 110 full-colour pages he highlights “alleys and graffiti” to reflect an era in which citizens dealt with counteracting 20th century racism, colonialism, fascism and “the modern capitalist state which fuels war and criminalizes the poor.” It is intended to reflect the resiliency of the human spirit. This book will be launched at Cafe Deux Soleils on March 19th.

Deborah Griffiths

G is for Griffiths
Once upon a time there were practical skills such as how to change a carburetor or pluck a chicken. We have advanced to learning how to Skype and, yes, how to apply for grants. Deborah Griffiths. as the Executive Director of the Courtenay and District Museum, knows her was around an application. Having been involved in museum research and curatorial work in the Okanagan and on Vancouver Island for over thirty years, she has not only written a novel under a pseudonym and c0-authored Watershed Moments: A Pictorial History of Courtenay and District (Harbour 2015), she has e-published a guidebook, The Grant Seekers Helper: The Little Book on Grants for Big Community Dreams (Amazon 2013), that has evolved into The Grant Writing and Funding Coach: Target and Acquire the Funds You Need (Self Counsel Press $16.95). Once upon that same old time, people lived by the sword and died by the sword. Now some organizations live precariously from grant to grant. Live by the BC Lottery Fund, die by the BC Lotttery Fund. 978-1-77040-288-1

H is for Hayter-Menzies
Grant Hayter-Menzies, author of books about the unsung and extraordinary – mostly women – is set to release his latest in November: Dorothy Brooke and the Fight to Save the Lost War Horses of Cairo (Potomac Books – U. of Nebraska Press 2017). The story recounts the heroics of an English general’s wife to help old and retired equines that had been used during wartime. Dorothy Brooke (1883 – 1955) discovered and rescued elderly and abused former war horses and army mules abandoned in Egypt following the end of World War I. She set up a veterinary hospital in a slum area of Cairo in 1934, working there until her death in 1955. The hospital continues today and has spawned free clinics for vet care working with equines in eleven developing nations. Endorsees for the book include animal rights activist Dr. Temple Grandin and actress Joanna Lumley. Hayter-Menzies has also written about President Jimmy Carter’s mother Lillian Carter; the Manchu-American author, feminist and personality, Princess Der Ling; Billie Burke, who was a famous stage personality before she played Glinda the Good Witch of the North in “The Wizard of Oz,” as well as being the wife of Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.; and others. He has worked extensively with playwright William Luce, providing original verse for his musical-biography The Divine Orlando (based on the life of the 16th century composer Orlando di Lasso), produced off Broadway in 1988; translations of German poetry for his 1991 Broadway play, Lucifer’s Child; and translations of Rimbaud for his play Nijinsky, which premiered in Tokyo in January 2000.

I is for Itter
Sculptor and writer Carole Itter is the 2017 recipient of The Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts. Born in Vancouver in 1939, Itter co-edited (with Daphne Marlatt) a volume in the Sound Heritage series about her Strathcona neighborhood in 1979. She later published and edited a remarkable, posthumous collection of journal writings by her daughter Lara Gilbert, I Might Be Nothing: Journal Writing, that documents her gifted daughter’s descent into drug abuse and prostitution in Skid Row, containing clear allegations of sexual abuse prior to her eventual suicide in 1996. Itter’s own writings have also been included in Room of One’s Own, Brick, A Literary Journal, Cradle and All, Women and Words, Periodics and more. Her exhibits in the visual arts include The Pink Room: A Visual Requiem at the grunt Gallery, Vancouver (l999) and at Open Space, Victoria (2001); The Float at the Or Gallery, Vancouver, l995; Where Streets Are Paved With Gold at the Vancouver Art Gallery, l991 and at the Museum of Civilization in Quebec City, 2005.

Julie Paul

J is for Julie
Also a massage therapist and teacher, Ottawa Valley-raised Julie Paul, from Lanark, moved to Victoria and published her first collection of fiction, The Jealousy Bone, in 2008. Now her first poetry collection, The Rules of the Kingdom (McGill-Queens $16.95), has appeared as part of the Hugh MacLennan Poetry Series. Paul recently gained the spotlight when her second collection of twelve unsettling stories, The Pull of the Moon (Brindle & Glass 2014), received the twelfth, $5,000 City of Victoria Butler Prize, presented by City of Victoria acting mayor Chris Coleman and sponsor Brian Butler. The title was selected as a Top 100 Book of the Year by the Globe & Mail. Paul’s stories, poems and essays have been accepted for publication in numerous journals, including The Danforth Review, Little Fiction, The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, Event, The Fiddlehead, The Dalhousie Review, PRISM International, Qwerty, Geist, Vallum, existere, The Rusty Toque, Boulevard, Canadian Living, and in the anthologies Coming Attractions 07 and Women Behaving Badly. 9780773548992

K is for Knox
Alligators and tigers can be white. Lobsters can be blue. One in twelve people have a rare disease. So what should we do? To raise awareness of rare diseases, “the underdogs of health care,” Deborah Katz, an artist and nursing professor with twenty years of experience in health care, has produced Rare is Everywhere (Miss Bird / Sandhill $19.95) in an attempt to educate children about nature and make them feel better if they have a rare disease or any anomaly that makes them feel different. The overriding message about her assortment of strange animals comes at the end: “So if you ever feel different, like a white spirit bear, you don’t have to worry because, Rare is EVERYWHERE!” Proceeds go to the Rare Disease Foundation, started in Vancouver in 2007. A rare disease is defined as a condition affecting fewer than one in 2,000 people. There are more than 7,000 known rare diseases. 978-0-9958261-0-6

Grant Lawrence

L is for Lawrence
As a pop music aficionado, Grant Lawrence must have known before he decided to publish his memoir of being lead singer for his widely-travelled, never widely-touted rock band, The Smugglers, that he had some hard acts to follow. Having co-founded the Hard Rock Miners in 1987, Michael Turner had already set the bar high with Hard Core Logo (Arsenal), later made into a movie. John Armstrong’s Guilty Of Everything (New Star, 2001) was shortlisted for a B.C. Book Prize for recalling his exploits as Buck Cherry in Vancouver’s old-school punk scene with The Modernettes. And Lawrence would have been aware of the shadow cast by DOA frontman Joe Keithley’s memoir I, Shithead (Arsenal 2004), now into its third printing. The good news is Lawrence’s reworking of his tour diaries for Dirty Windshields: The Best and Worst of the Smugglers Tour Diaries (D&M $26.95) contains some of the best and funniest writing you’re going to find just about anywhere. Of course, there’s no shortage of dismal circumstances and raucous tomfoolery, but Lawrence’s description of the band’s arrival in Los Angeles during the aftermath of race riots, in response to the acquittal of police for beating Rodney King, is riveting. “Los Angeles reeked. The stench was disturbing combination of exhaust fumes, campfire smoke and burning plastic…” This book cannot be dismissed as a self-indulgent paean to boy-band glory days; it’s a finely edited, very smart and wholesome On The Road. Okay, so Jack Kerouac didn’t come home to his doting Mom and Dad, but Lawrence has his own style, his own adventures. The writing deserves a chorus of praise. 978-1-77162-148-9

Daniel Marshall

M is for Marshall
As a fifth-generation British Columbian whose Cornish ancestors arrived in the Pacific province in 1858, the year of the Fraser River gold rush, Daniel Marshall of Victoria has written Claiming the Land: British Columbia and the Making of El Dorado (Ronsdale 2017). He was Chief Curator for the Royal BC Museum’s “Gold Rush: El Dorado in British Columbia Exhibit” in 2015 and he has hosted Canyon War: The Untold Story, televised on Knowledge Network, APTN and PBS. 978-1-55380-502-1 $24.95. Previously, Daniel P. Marshall produced the first history of the Cowichan peoples written for, and approved by, the Cowichan Tribes. Originally intended as an educational text for Cowichan youth, Those Who Fell From The Sky (Rainshadow Press, 2000 $29.95) begins with the first ‘heaven-sent’ Cowichans who were dropped at various points among the wilderness long ago. Cowichan elders once assured young people that one day they would be compensated for land illegally annexed; it was only a matter of time and patience. Marshall outlines some of the land claims issues that remained unsettled as the 21st century began. [Fairburn Photographic]

Emily Nilsen

N is for Nilsen
We get our balance from our ears. An otolith is a series of bones in the ear that enable us to be oriented within the context of physical space, our environs. In her debut book of poems, Otolith (Goose Lane $19.95), Emily Nilsen of Nelson examines the ache of nostalgia in the world’s passage of time. Publicity states: “These poems are full of life and decay; they carry the odours of salmon rivers and forests of fir; salal growing in the fog-bound mountain slopes.” Born and raised in Vancouver, Nilsen lives in Nelson. Her poems have appeared in PRISM International, Lake, and The Goose. She was a finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2015, after having been longlisted for the prize on three occasions, and her work has been longlisted for the UK National Poetry Prize. 978-0-864929-62-4

Emisch Oghma

O is Oghma
After a severe accident caused agnosia—the inability to recognize and identify objects or persons—Emisch Oghma of Victoria began studying and modernizing the ancient Chinese face reading system called siang mien. By being more observant and interested in people’s faces, Emisch was able to reduce the effects of agnosia, giving rise to his book, In Your Face (Agio $19.95), designed to show how anyone can quickly “read” their own face, their friends, family or co-workers. 978-1-927755-54-9

Katja Pantzar

P is for Pantzar
A former Associate Editor of B.C. BookWorld, Helsinki-based writer, editor and broadcast journalist Katja Pantzar was born in Finland and raised and educated in Canada. A freelance member of the Finnish public broadcasting company Yle’s news team, Pantzar is a regular contributor to Blue Wings, the inflight magazine of Finnair, and Helsinki correspondent for Monocle 24. She is the author of three guides to Helsinki: The Hip Guide to Helsinki, Helsinki by Light and 100 Things to Do in Helsinki. Her new book, The Magic of Sisu: In search of courage, strength and happiness the Finnish way (2017), is Pantzar’s personal account and hands-on guide to sisu and how it helped her on her personal journey to physical and psychological wellbeing. Hodder will publish this book in the UK in April of 2018, together with Penguin Random House USA’s non-fiction imprint TarcherPerigee in North America. In 2017, reprint rights for her book The Magic of Sisu were also sold internationally to CHINA, Yeeyan Publishing; CZECH REP., Mladá Fronta; FRANCE, Belfond; GERMANY, Bastei Lübbe; ITALY, Marsilio; NETHERLANDS, Kosmos; POLAND, WUJ; RUSSIA, AST; SPAIN, and Roca Editorial (WS). According to her literary agency, the book arose from her responses to Canada where “the consumerist and materially obsessed culture left her feeling empty and unhappy. When she received treatment for depression in her mid-20s, the medical practitioners treating her simply prescribed medication and sleeping pills, no thought given to her lifestyle. After moving to Finland, Katja discovered sisu: the Finnish approach to well being defined by a special kind of resilience, grit and courage. She embraced this way of living and experienced a dramatic turnaround in her health and happiness. Simple, functional exercise (as simple as riding her bike to work), the Nordic diet,spending time in nature and water together with a more courageous outlook, all served to transform Pantzar’s life: her anxieties, fatigue and pain left behind in the sea.”

Q is for Quartermain
Set in Vancouver, in 1972, U Girl (Talon $19.95) is a coming of age story about Frances Nelson as she arrives in big city for her first year of university, escaping her small-town life. Sexual experimentation, drugs, working at menial jobs, meditating on Wreck Beach and studying at the University of British Columbia during the “free love” era are all incorporated in her struggle to be taken seriously as a woman with a desire for gender equality. 978-1-77201-040-4

Fauzia Rafique. Photo by Nasreen Pejvack.

R is for Rafique
South Asian Canadian writer Fauzia Rafique–originally from Pakistan–writes fiction and poetry in English, Punjabi and Urdu. Endorsed by literary friends Susan Crean and Heidi Greco, her second novel, The Adventures of SahebaN: Biography of a Relentless Warrior (Libros Libertad $20), interprets and responds to various kinds of oppression that she has witnessed in Pakistan and Canada, in accordance with Simone de Beauvoir’s statement in The Second Sex: “All oppression creates a state of war. “The heroine of the story, Saheban, rebels against her family in overtly sexist Pakistan by refusing an arranged marriage. Embarking on a new life in Canada, Saheban encounters oppression in the guise of racism and economic disparity. Rafique’s first novel was Skeena (Libros Libertad 2011) and a chapbook appeared the same year for her English and Punjabi poems, Passion Fruit/Tahnget Phal (Uddari Books 2011). She is a co-founder and the coordinator of Surrey Muse, an interdisciplinary art and literature presentation group that began to meet on a monthly basis in Surrey in 2011. [The spelling of SahebaN is correct.] 978-1-926763-44-6

Pat and Ron Smith

S is for Smith
Ron Smith’s The Defiant Mind: Living Inside a Stroke (Ronsdale $22.95) has won an IPPY Gold Medal from the Independent Publishers Group in the United States for the autobiography/memoir category. Founder of Oolican Press, Smith has provided a personal account of what it’s like to have a massive ischemic stroke to the brain stem. Smith recounts struggles with communication, the frustrations of being written off, the role of memory in recovering identity, the value of therapy and, above all, his passion to live. Including suggestions for improvement of care for stroke victims, The Defiant Mind is for stroke survivors, caregivers and medical professionals. [Ron Smith is currently on a book tour through BC, stopping in Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, Osoyoos, Nelson, Fernie and on to Calgary to do a Heart and Stroke Foundation annual meeting, and then back via Kamlops, Prince George, Smithers, Terrace and Prince Rupert.]

Jason Turner

T is Turner
Jason Turner of Vancouver is a comic book artist whose first graphic novel, Fir Valley (Cloudscape Comics $25), is seemingly set in North Vancouver. The town of Fir Valley, on the side of a mountain,  is shaken when a man is killed and his son disappears. While the community reacts to these events, the mystery is investigated and dark secrets from the town’s past come to light. And here is something lurking in the woods… Turner has self-published comics since the late 1980s, and has been putting his comics on the internet since the late 1990s. He co-wrote the True Loves trilogy with his wife Manien Bothma. More recent work includes Farm School, The Adulation and Bird Comics. His comics column in comic form, Jason and the Comics, ran in Broken Pencil for five years. 978-1-927742-10-5

U is for Ulrike Narwani
North Saanich’s Ulrike Narwani has published her first book of poems, Collecting Silence (Ronsdale $15.95) covering a life arc through youth, love and loss, to maturation and aging. She shares religious moments in other lands – “We stumble outside./ Hurry past prayer wheels./ Set them turning./ Hands skimming faith./ The letters foreign./” – finding something new to say about the world’s most famous painting, the Mona Lisa – “who does not know you/ iconed/ xrayed on history’s gurney, flesh cold/ measured/ the droop or lift/ of left or right upper lip/ or lower/ cameras on selfie sticks bristle-strut/ send portraits home” – and the loss of a grandmother – “I could not discern the moment you left./ You were just no longer,/ a snowflake melting/it seemed so easy./ I could not discern-/ until a coldness rolled in/a morning mist/ sinking warmth beneath it/ until it drowned.” Narwani’s poems remind us of the power of silence to size-up, reshape and transform. She says when we are silent, our deepest experiences – our memories – talk to us in a language that we know without speaking. Of Baltic-German heritage, Narwani’s family was forced to emigrate from their homeland Latvia at the onset of WWII. She grew up in Edmonton before completing a Ph.D in Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto. Her poetry has appeared in Island Writer, CV2, FreeFall, Vallum, two chapbooks edited by Patrick Lane, and the anthology Poems for Planet Earth. 978-1-55380-487-1

Ron Verzuh

V is for Verzuh
On two nights in a row, an unconventional, graphic-novel styled educational book won two of the country’s top awards for history. On May 29, 2017, in Ottawa, the Canadian Historical Association’s Public History Prize went to the collaboratively created Drawn to Change: Graphic Histories of Working-Class Struggle! edited by the Graphic History Collective with Paul Buhle (Between the Lines $9.95). The previous night, in Toronto, the publishers were awarded the $10,000 Wilson Prize, sponsored by the Wilson Institute for Canadian History (McMaster University). The first award presented to the book’s editors, the Graphic History Collective, “recognizes work that achieves high standards of original research, scholarship, and presentation; brings an innovative public history contribution to its audience; and serves as a model for future work, advancing the field of public history in Canada.” The Wilson Prize goes annually to the best book that “succeeds in making Canadian historical scholarship accessible to a wide and transnational audience”. B.C. contributors include Kara Sievewright, Sam Bradd, Robin Folvik, David Lester, Mark Leier, Tania Willard, Dale McCartney, and Ron Verzuh. Visit graphichistorycollective.com

Aaron Williams

W is for Williams
Born on January 5 1986 in Terrace, Aaron Williams grew up in Prince Rupert and attended Memorial University of Newfoundland (2008-2012, English and Poli-Sci) and University of King’s College Halifax (2015-2017 MFA in non-fiction writing). He worked as a forest firefighter based out of Smithers from 2006-2014, which is the subject of his first book, Chasing Smoke: A Wildfire Memoir (Harbour Publishing, 2017).

X is for Xinjiang
As a sessional lecturer at UBC, Kim Trainor has released Karyotype (Brick $20), a poetry collection about a woman who lived four thousand years ago. Dubbed Loulan, her body has been preserved in the sands of the Taklamakan Desert—the largest desert in China, in the southwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The word karyotype, we are told, is “the characteristic chromosome complement of a species.” Trainor worked in a biomedical library and for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Previously her poetry won the Ralph Gustafson Prize from The Fiddlehead and the Long Poem Prize from The Malahat Review. 978-1-77131-379-7

Derek Walker Youngs, Japan, 2005

Y is for Youngs
Between 1986 and 2011, the aptly named Derek Walker Youngs devoted much of his life to peace, leading to his posthumous book, Walking to Japan: A Memoir (Tellwell Talent unpriced), completed and co-written by his widow and co-walker. Born on June 16, 1940, during a World War II air raid, at age 45 Youngs participated in the Great Peace March for Nuclear Disarmament across the U.S.A. — a naive but determined, nine-month commitment to walk almost 6,000 kilometres from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. to spread the message of global disarmament and a ban on nuclear weapons. He subsequently founded the Peace Walker Society, eventually walking more than 25,000 kilometres in 25 countries. Like the classic Fool in the Tarot pack, the Galiano Island-based healer (who later lived on the Sunshine Coast and in Victoria), walked “in trust and faith,” usually not knowing where he would sleep or find his next meal. He succeeded in walking across Canada in two stages, in 1988-1989, during which time he added the middle name Walker, as suggested by friends. Youngs sometimes gained media attention while sharing his own stories of love and learning with people; but mostly he was solo and unheralded. First wed at age twenty in 1963 and separated in the early 1970s, he met a yoga and Reiki teacher,  Lani Kaito, eventually embracing the experimental West Coast lifestyle of Buddhism, Hinduism, meditation and massage, and together they founded the Integrated Health Centre. His increasingly alternative beliefs and practices led him later to a deep and enduring marriage to Linda Ward, a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. They stayed together until her death in 2007. Thereafter, in his 60s, Youngs walked with, and eventually married, Carolyn Affleck Youngs, a photographer who has lovingly completed his collection of stories and ideas. Her own pilgrimages with her older “mentor, collaborator and best friend” included the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain and the 88 Temples in Japan. They had four marriages ceremonies around the world in 2010 prior to his death on March 18, 2011 when she was 45. Having walked “all the city streets of Vancouver,” Carolyn Affleck Youngs has plans to walk across the country one day, as well as the length of the Britain, from John O’Groats to Land’s End. 978-1-77302-273-4

Lillian Zimmerman

Z is for Zimmerman
It’s not easy being an elder in North America and Lillian Zimmerman should know. The 92- year-old writes humorously and knowledgably about the prevalence of ageism in Canada in Did You Just Call Me Old Lady? (Fernwood $18). Recent Statistics Canada information made headline news this year when those over the age of 65 outnumbered the 15-and-younger demographic for the first time since Confederation. Zimmerman’s book makes the case that long-livers can have fulfilling lives and that they make valuable contributions to society. She makes these points while not shying away from the challenges to aging, such as serious illnesses, mental deficiencies, low income and isolation. Zimmerman exposes how prejudice against old people, as seen through media and popular culture depictions like ads for products to alleviate bodily failings, and jokes about memory loss and sexual infirmity fuel negative attitudes towards them. Her analysis shows that many of these problems result from inefficient management and poor policies. Ageism, like sexism and racism, needs to be handled by social justice and anti-oppression actions. Her previous book, Baglady or Powerhouse? A Roadmap for Midlife (Boomer) Women (Detselig 2009) was based on interviews she did while working as an associate with the Simon Fraser University Gerontology Research Centre. She has since established a scholarship at SFU to provide financial support for a graduate student in the Department of Gerontology in their first year of study.  9781552668979

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