Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

November 2019

November 9, 2019

On today's CBC website there is an item about a reunion of survivors of the Athenia, a passenger ship torpedoed by the Germans right at the beginning of World War Two.

Loyal readers may recall that my mother-in-law, Dorothy Dean Brealey, was a passenger on the doomed vessel. She was returning to Canada with her mother after visiting relatives in England.

In 2006 I wrote an...

November 3, 2019

Is the City of Vancouver Book Award the most ineptly publicized book prize in the country? It feels like it.

The annual award was handed out last month in a ceremony at the Vancouver Public Library. My pal Rob Watt had a book in the running -- his gorgeous volume on the indigenous artist Susan Point -- and I was interested in knowing if he had won.

But just try to find out.

Neither of the local daily papers reported the event, at least not so far as I could discover on...