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Ronsdale Press, 2005 - History - 259 pages
Following the success of First Invaders, Alan Twigg turns his attention to First Nations writers, unearthing more than 300 books by more than 170 mostly unheralded aboriginal authors.Taking the reader from residential schools to art galleries, this lively and unprecedented panorama of British Columbia includes trailblazer Pauline Johnson, political organizer George Manuel, Haida carver Bill Reid, indigenous rights activist Jeannette Armstrong, pioneering novelist Mourning Dove, actor Chief Dan George, painters George Clutesi and Norval Morrisseau (living in Nanaimo), politician Len Marchand, playwright Marie Clements and Haisla novelist Eden Robinson.Equally important, Aboriginality sheds new light on fascinating, lesser-known figures such as Chief William Sepass, Howard Adams, Domanic Charlie, Earl Maquinna George, George Hunt, Chief Charlie Nowell, Henry Pennier, Harry Robinson, Gordon Robinson (Eden Robinson's uncle), James Sewid and Michael Nicoll Yagulanaas-to name only a few. Nearly half the author profiles are women, including Marilyn Dumont, Lizette Hall, Heather Harris, Beverly Hungry Wolf, Mary John, Vera Manuel, Lee Maracle, Gloria Nahanee, Daphne Odjig, Bernadette Rosetti, Shirley Sterling, Gloria Cranmer Webster, Ellen White, Annabel Cropped Eared Wolf and Annie Zetco York.Each author is presented in historical and chronological context, along with background material on aboriginal history, as well as rare photos, illustrations and a comprehensive bibliography.

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A useful book! The profiles are detailed enough to keep the reader's interest, without being exhaustive. While I read the three-book series by Alan Twigg, this is the best of the three as it has the most new material that is hard to find anywhere else. I'd recommend this book to any school or public library in particular, as it is a good reference for people needing information on one of the profiled writers. It's a fascinating read, and I went cover-to-cover in a weekend before surfacing. 


Voices from the Wilderness

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About the author (2005)

Alan Twigg has written and published BC Bookworld, a cultural newspaper, since 1987. His sixteen books include: First Invaders (Ronsdale, 2004), Aboriginality (Ronsdale, 2005), i(Ronsdale, 2006), 101 Top Historical Sites of Cuba (Beach Holme, 2004), Intensive Care: A Memoir (Anvil Press, 2002), and Strong Voices: Conversations with 50 Canadian Writers (Harbour, 1988). He has also produced six films about authors and a music CD with David Lester for poet Bud Osborn.He has conceived and coordinated numerous literary prizes, and created and compiled a public service reference site, abcbookworld.com, to offer free information on more than 9,000 British Columbia authors. In 2000 he received the first annual Gray Campbell Award for outstanding contributions to the writing and publishing community of British Columbia. He was the Shadbolt Fellow at Simon Fraser University. He makes his home in Vancouver.

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