Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

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Book Prizes Awarded

September 22, 2020

The annual BC and Yukon Book Prizes were held over the past weekend in a responsibly distanced manner. My friends at the Ormsby Review have kindly posted the winners, which is a good thing since you'd be hard pressed to find the results in any of the mainstream media. I searched through the local newspapers and online at the CBC. Nada. Seems kind of disgraceful, doesn't it?

Anyway, congratulations to the winners, and congratulations to the folks at the book prizes for persevering during this unusual period.

 

September 20, 2020

While waiting for my next book, Becoming Vancouver: A New History, to be published -- delayed by the COVID situation -- I thought I'd introduce the project by telling some "tales of the city."

Following World War One, the southern shoreline of Coal Harbour developed as one of the city's busiest industrial areas. In particular it attracted boatworks,...

September 18, 2020

In the latest issue, just out, the folks at Geist magazine asked contributors what they were reading during the pandemic.

My response, with a twist, is here.

September 11, 2020

Back in February I mentioned my collection of deteriorating volumes from The Canadian Centenary Series. 

Recently the Active History website had this fascinating look back at the series by Donald Wright, author of a first-rate biography of Donald Creighton.

Trigger warning: lots of 1960s sexism and general ignorance about...

August 21, 2020

While waiting for my next book, Becoming Vancouver: A New History, to be published -- delayed by the COVID situation -- I thought I'd introduce the project by telling some "tales of the city."

Early in the morning of July 19, 1952, a 52-year-old stevedore named Clarence Clemons got into a scuffle with police at the New Station Café on Main Street. The New Station had a reputation as a lively afterhours joint close to Hogan’s Alley. “It was world-renowned,” affirmed...

July 30, 2020

On March 7, 1913, poet and performer Pauline Johnson died at a private hospital on Bute Street in Vancouver's West End. She had moved to the coast a few years earlier after retiring from the stage and had been ill with breast cancer for some time.

The death of the "Mohawk Princess" sparked an unprecedented display of public respect. Many city notables attended her funeral...

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