Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw: Travels in Search of Canada

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Vintage Canada, 2005 - Canada - 361 pages
82 Reviews
Will Ferguson’s first book in three years, following on the back-to-back successes of How to Be a Canadian (over 110,000 copies sold) and Happiness™ (Winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour).

Will Ferguson has spent the past three years criss-crossing Canada and back again. In a helicopter above the barrenlands of the sub-Arctic, in a canoe with his four-year-old son, aboard seaplanes and along the Underground Railroad, Will’s travels have taken him from Cape Spear on the coast of Newfoundland to the sun-dappled streets of Olde Victoria.

In his last book, Will told us how to be Canadian; now in this book, he will tell us what it means to be Canadian. And what Will finds out along the way is that Canada in its development and in its current state is really a series of outposts — not only geographically but culturally.

Will’s journey takes him to far-flung isolated communities as well as deep into Canada’s urban centres. From the “million-acre farm” that is P.E.I. to the tobacco belt of southern Ontario, from the architectural mess that is Montreal to the glorious jumble that is St. John’s, from a renegade republic in northwestern New Brunswick to a tundra buggy in the polar bear migration paths of Hudson Bay, Will explodes the myths of who we are.

Funny, poignant and insightful, Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw is a provocative tribute to our quirky and fascinating country.

Excerpt from Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw
In one particular seedy St. John’s pub, I was adopted by a work crew from Portugal Cove who took an immediate, almost antagonistic liking to me. “You’re from Alberta, you say? I have a cousin in Fort McMurray, maybe you know him.” (Everybody in Newfoundland has a cousin in Fort McMurray.) The crew from Portugal Cove tormented me with screech and second-hand smoke as they regaled me with tales of how their families were so poor “back when” that all they could afford to eat were lobsters. This was not the first time I had heard this. Apparently half the population of Newfoundland has subsisted on lobster at some point or other.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Review: Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw: Travels in Search of Canada

User Review  - Kate - Goodreads

I quit around the sixty-page mark -- maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance. A lot of people have this preconceived notion that Canadian writing is vanilla, at best. Ferguson did little to convince me of otherwise. Read full review

Review: Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw: Travels in Search of Canada

User Review  - Clyde Birkholz - Goodreads

I am surprised by how few good Canada travel books have been written. This has a delightful Canadian sensibility, the light wit an easy grace of the best Canadians. Read full review

About the author (2005)

The author/co-author of eight books of non-fiction and one novel, Will Ferguson is one of Canada’s best-selling writers. His first book, Why I Hate Canadians was a bestseller and established him as an iconoclastic writer; his most recent, How to Be a Canadian, co-authored with his brother Ian, has been a Globe and Mail bestseller for over eighty weeks. His other books of non-fiction include Bastards and Boneheads and Canadian History for Dummies. His first novel, Happiness™ , won the 2002 Leacock Medal for Humour and the 2002 Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction. It is now published in twenty-nine countries and twenty-three languages. Will lives in Calgary with his wife, Terumi, and their sons, Alex and Alister.

From the Hardcover edition.

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