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Featured Reviews of “The Chinchaga Firestorm”

“This is surely the definitive account of the Chinchaga complex. It will be welcomed by the North American fire community and by anyone interested in the settlement of the Boreal Plains Ecozone of western Canada.” Stephen J. Pyne, BC Studies, October 15, 2015 [Read full review.]

9780888646613_large“[Tymstra] ties in the impacts on wildfire ecology, wildfire management policy, wildfire behaviour, smoke and most interestingly of all, the human side of the whole event. People’s stories intertwine with historical facts and demonstrate their resilience and persistence in the struggle against wildfire.” Janelle Lane, Environment and Parks Insight, October 16, 2015

“…the author not only describes the fire and its impact, but adds technical details and history to survey forest fires at other times and how people handled them. Though the 1950 fire changed how fires are fought in Alberta and elsewhere, they also affected scientific research, forest management, and ecological studies, making this survey of western Canadian history a far-ranging examination holding much more of interest beyond its Canadian boundaries.” The Bookwatch, February 22, 2016

Cathie is in Mexico…

Cathie on her way to MexicoOur dear colleague, Associate Director / Manager Planning & Operations, Cathie Crooks is in Mexico, enjoying a well deserved vacation.  This is her at the airport – we haven’t seen newer pictures up on Facebook, so she must be avoiding the internet.

I remember when I took my first vacation from UAP. I went to Cuba while it was -20 in Edmonton. This is how Cathie felt about me leaving the cold behind.

I wonder how she’d feel seeing these pictures of the wonderfully delicious and decadent treats that Craig, Tanya’s husband sent us this morning. We don’t know why we deserve such treats, but won’t ask any questions. There are still a few left, but sadly they won’t last until Cathie gets back.

Chocolate covered strawberries_collage

She also missed the arrival of our newest books. Sleeping in Tall Grass by Richard Therrien, Who Needs Books? by Lynn Coady, and Sustainability Planning and Collaboration in Rural Canadaedited byLars K. Hallström, Mary A. Beckie,Glen T. Hvenegaard, and Karsten Mündel.

3 new books

Miss you, Cathie!

Norway launch of “Idioms of Sámi Health and Healing”

This was a first for UAP: a book launch outside of Canada. Several contributors to Idioms of Sámi Health and Healing live in Norway, and they enjoyed a successful launch in a wonderful venue early in February.

Editor Barbara Helen Miller sent us these paragraphs and some pictures to share with readers of our blog:

The venue for the book launch was the Ardna, centrally located on the Tromsø University campus. The Ardna is inspired by Sámi architecture, and attests to the importance given to Sámi studies at the Tromsø University. The date of 5 February fell together with an intensive week of activities around Sámi studies at the University, plus the Sámi National day on 6 February.

Attending the book launch were 25 interested students, visitors, and teachers. The authors in attendance were Mona, Trine, Randi, Sigvald, Britt, and me. We were all happy to meet again after the years of collaborative work via internet. Professor Jens Ivar Nergard, who has done similar research, was invited to comment.

It’s gratifying that the interest in our book was high.

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Tribute to Brian Evans

The University of Alberta Press team mourns the loss of author and friend of the press, Brian Evans.

It was a pleasure to know Brian and to work with him to publish his books: Pursuing China: Memoir of a Beaver Liaison Officer, and The Remarkable Chester Ronning: Proud Son of China. Brian was truly a scholar (with a sense of humour) and a gentleman. We will miss him.

Dr. Brian Llewellyn Evans (1932–2016)

The Department of History and Classics, the University of Alberta, and the Edmonton Chinese community are much saddened by the passing of Professor Emeritus Brian L. Evans, on February 15, 2016 at the age of eighty-three. It was the eighth day of the Year of the Monkey, and Brian, an Albertan son and a Monkey, has joined the Monkey King soaring through the clouds and still, in his words, “pursuing China” while keeping his gaze on Alberta.

Born in Taber, Alberta, Brian widened his horizons early in life to embrace China, a life-long passion that took him to an undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta and a PhD in Chinese and Southeast Asian history at London University. His academic home from 1961 to 1996 was University of Alberta’s History department, but apart from teaching and research, he served as Department Chair in 1968–1973 and Associate Vice-President International from 1985 to 1994. Canada appreciated his special diplomatic skills and appointed him Cultural Officer and Sinologist-in-residence, at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, where he helped shape Canadian foreign policy.

Among his most enduring legacies is the development of Chinese and East Asian history, culture, and language studies in Alberta. He taught Canadian-Chinese external relations, and Chinese and Japanese history; in the 1970s he worked to expand the field by adding a Japanese specialist and a Southeast Asian historian to the History department. Then he set up Chinese and Japanese language programs within the History department; in 1982 these formed the foundation of the current East Asian Studies Department. In 2001, the Governor-General recognized Brian’s outstanding educational role in establishing Chinese and East Asian studies in Alberta and in advancing the Alberta Chinese community, and honored him with the Order of Canada.

After his retirement, Brian continued to be active in the academic world, often travelling to China for lecture tours and conferences. His tireless research has produced two very well reviewed books, Pursuing China: Memoir of a Beaver Liaison Officer (2012) and The Remarkable Chester Ronning: Proud Son of China (2013), both published by University of Alberta Press. He was completing a book manuscript on the history of the Chinese in Alberta.

Two generations of Brian’s students, colleagues, and many friends in Canada, China, and beyond, whether working in restaurant service, or in government, diplomacy, law, public service, and education, will miss his humor, warmth, and stimulating conversations. Each of us will treasure individual and shared moments with Brian, whose life consistently exemplified Mencius’ Confucian way: “A person who loves others will always be loved by others, and a person who respects others will always be respected by others 愛人者、人恆愛之,敬人者、 人恆敬之” (Mencius 4B). Brian, rest in peace, love, and respect.

Written by Jennifer W. Jay Professor, History & Classics, University of Alberta February 16, 2016

According to Brian’s wishes, there will be no funeral.
A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date.

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Kirsten Craven worked with Brian on both of his books published with us. Here is what she wrote upon receiving the news from Mary Lou Roy, Production Editor:

I really appreciate you letting me know this sad news. Brian was a true gentleman and a scholar. These might seem overused words, but it is only because they are rarely applied correctly. They should be only used to describe a few rare people, and Brian was one of these people.
I was about to close, but I glanced up at my words “sad news.” Perhaps I was wrong in typing this: Brian led a full, adventurous life at a time when you could start anywhere and make your mark if you had the smarts and gumption. That’s nothing to be sad about.

Featured Reviews of “Weaving a Malawi Sunrise”

“Most everyone has a place that inspires reflection and contentment: a Paris café, a salmon run on the Miramichi River, your grandmother’s kitchen table. Roberta Laurie is an Alberta Rotarian who finds her place at a Malawian school for girls. The result is intriguing and joyful. Weaving A Malawi Sunrise never patronizes. Laurie is a delightful writer…. Weaving A Malawi Sunrise is kind and eloquent, by turn angry and evocative…” Holly Doan, Blacklock’s Reporter, December 12, 2015. [Read full review.]

weaving a malawi sunrise“Roberta Laurie, a former Rotarian, has written a book that is both heart warming and sobering. On the one hand, we read about young women experiencing life changing educational success. On the other hand, we read about the challenges girls and women experience in rural Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world…. [The book] portrays the development of a courageous, visionary leader…. In addition, the book is rich with the history, culture, geography, and politics of Malawi. This material is deftly presented as the context for the development of [the school]…. The emphasis on the stories of Memory, Christie, and the students move the narrative forward and capture and hold readers’ interest.” Dean Wood, ClubRunner, January 4, 2016. [Read full review.]

#1 on the Edmonton Journal’s Bestsellers list (Edmonton Nonfiction) for the week of November 27, 2015 The Edmonton Journal.

“…very highly recommended for academic library Contemporary African Studies reference collections…” Julie Summers, Reviewer’s Bookwatch, February 2016

“a brand new world” – Email from an author

What a start to the new year! Inquiries from a curious author, published with permission and with no compensation:

Hello Monika,

Here’s to a spanking brand-new to you. And a city sparkling with snow.

I write happily to report that I will be in Edmonton on April 17 with a new poetry book, departures, and I’m thinking how good it would be to drop by the Press offices and make a supreme nuisance of myself. Those folks at UofA Press, they’ve had an entirely too serene time of it, I tell myself, and I have resolved first chance I get to improve their lamentable state.

Also to ask . . . oh yes, she says to herself, says Monika Igali, it was too much to suppose Cooley would be satisfied being a simple bother . . . there’s something. Monika Igali braces for what’s coming. She knows what’s coming. She knows he will ask does she know when The Home Place will be out. No, says Monika Igali, I don’t know when it will be out. I told you last time: there’s lots to do yet. It will be out when it’s out. I know you are going to Trier and you are giddy about taking the book with you. And we will gladly send it with you if it’s out by then. In the meantime . . . quit harassing us.

Ok, says Cooley. That’s what he thought. He didn’t want to cause any consternation, he was merely prompted by the thoughts of Trier. The thoughts of beer and sausage addled him and he lost all sense of proportion and propriety.

Chagrined, he clings to a small hope. He measures his chances of a friendly greeting in April.

Hope you and the year are humming with satisfaction.


Thank yo9781772121193u for this, Dennis! We are looking forward to seeing you during the Edmonton Poetry Festival, especially at the Literary Cocktails on April 20 at the Faculty Club. No promises, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had your book hot off the press by then?


“Apartheid in Palestine” Launch

Apartheid in Palestine had a special launch on January 28, 2016 in Edmonton. It brought together many groups to converse about occupation, displacement, colonization, and apartheid.Book Cover

The volume editor, Ghada Ageel, gave a passionate and informative talk, drawing on her family’s three-generation experience of living in a camp in Gaza. She told the story of how the book came to be and why it was important to bring many voices to the project. She then spoke about the perspective each of the fifteen contributors brought to the book, whether Palestinian or Israeli, academic or activist.

Given the international nature of the book, it was particularly good to have three other contributors at the event: Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Samar El-Bekai, and Reem Skeik.

The reception afterwards gave everyone time to talk about the ideas Ghada Ageel put forward and to celebrate her important work. Her contribution is best summarized by a comment from Ilan Pappe, Professor of History, Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter:”This is an incisive anthology of scholars and activists that finally takes the conversation on Palestine a step further. This timely collection leaves behind stale and outdated paradigms and boldly offers a new one for looking at the past, the present of the future of the evergreen issue of Palestine. Its lucid structure, original contributions and above all the courageous guidance of its editor makes this book the most valuable contribution to the struggle for justice in Palestine.”

Our thanks to these organizations for their contributions to the event:

Political Science Department, University of Alberta
Middle East and Islamic Studies, University of Alberta
Faculty for Palestine/Alberta
Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism
Palestine Solidarity Network
Canada Palestine Cultural Association

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