With Vancouver turning a spry 125 this year, municipal poet laureate Brad Cran and the Association of Book Publishers of B.C. are getting together to present readers with a fascinating stack of books marking the city’s birthday. Cran and the ABPBC today announced the Vancouver 125 Legacy Books Collection, a list of 10 momentous yet out-of-print titles about Vancouver that the partnership will revive with sharp new editions.
The collection, which will begin appearing in April and be completed by the fall, involves an array of publishers and comprises two classic books of poetry along with four fiction and four nonfiction titles. Its historical scope stretches back to Vancouver’s earliest days, and emphasizes the pivotal decade of the 1970s. Harbour Publishing, for example, will generate a new printing of A Hard Man to Beat, an oral history of the labour movement in the local shipyards, by the company’s own publisher, Howard White. Arsenal Pulp Press will do the same for the late playwright Betty Lambert’s hard-edged 1979 novel Crossings, set in the Vancouver of the early 1960s.
The other titles are as follows:
Along the No. 20 Line: Reminiscences of the Vancouver Waterfront, by Rolf Knight (New Star Books)
Opening Doors: Vancouver’s East End, edited by Daphne Marlatt and Carole Itter (Harbour Publishing)
Who Killed Janet Smith? by Edward Starkins (Anvil Press)
Class Warfare, by D. M. Fraser (Arsenal Pulp Press)
A Credit to Your Race, by Truman Green (Anvil Press)
The Inverted Pyramid, by Bertrand W. Sinclair (Ronsdale Press)
Day and Night, by Dorothy Livesay (Oolichan Books)
Anhaga, by Jon Furberg (Smoking Lung/Arsenal Pulp Press)
Despite the huge range of municipal celebrations on the schedule for this year, it’s hard to think of a richer view of the city’s short but frenetic history.