Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

New Geist Arrives

July 28, 2016

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The summer issue of Geist magazine is on the newsstands, containing my regular books column.

This time I am contemplating a new study of Samuel Hearne, his journal, the Bloody Falls Massacre and the always-tricky question of who gets to tell history. Despite having been discredited many times, Hearne's account of Bloody Falls seems to be an itch we can't stop scratching. Find out why, along with the usual potpourri of Geistian ingredients.

July 19, 2016

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The author was no sooner home from hospital following knee surgery than he was called upon to rise up from his bed of pain and sign a few copies of the new book. Anything for the reading public.

Where Mountains Meet the Sea: an Illustrated History of the District of North Vancouver. Available at bookstores in the Lower Mainland and from your favourite ...

June 27, 2016

To quote the immortal words of cartoonist Aislin, "OK, everyone take a valium."

In the welter of reaction to last week's Brexit vote, what has struck me is the appalling tone-deafness of the losing side, aka "the elites." It is typical of losers to blame their defeat on the ignorance of the winners. If only "they" had known better -- if they hadn't been misled, or frightened, or just too damn stupid to see the truth -- "they" wouldn't have made the egregious mistake of voting against...

June 22, 2016

Should coastal British Columbia ever need an anthem, I'd suggest setting my pal Howard White's marvelous poem "Oolachon Grease" to music. It appears in his 1993 collection Ghost in the Gears.

I found it finally

in Bella Bella price $120/gal.

and it smelled like the cracks

between the deck planks of an old fish barge

if you can imagine spreading that

 on your bread -- quite enough to hurl...

June 14, 2016

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My latest book, Where Mountains Meet the Sea: An Illustrated History of the District of North Vancouver, is due from the printer next week and should be in bookstores soon after.

I am going to launch it with a slideshow and talk next Wednesday, June 22. So if you are in the Lower Mainland, come on over to the Lynn Valley Library in North...

June 3, 2016

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Nice to see that John Thistle's book, Resettling the Range, has won this year's Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize.

The prize goes to the best scholarly book on a British Columbia subject and at first blush the subject -- the consequences of settlement on the ecology of the province's Interior -- may seem "academic" in the disparaging sense. Far from it. Thistle's prose is very...

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