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Literary Criticism Canadian

Making Waves

Reading BC and Pacific Northwest Literature

edited by Trevor Carolan

Anvil Press Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2010
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2010
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 15
  • Grade: 10


Distinguished in part by its attention to language of place, natural science, local flora and fauna, land and seascapes, and receptivity to aboriginal forebears, much of the literature from British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest region of the US is increasingly informed by cross-border and multicultural perspectives. Within the context of the region's still relatively young written hsitory, these vivid signifiers may be regarded as effectively constituting a previously undefined literacy of place. The nature of the material is diverse and the aim has been to compile a kind of nurse-log compendium-an anthology rich in critical thinking, archival memory, creation myths, and homage to celebrated elders of the region's literary tribe. From this trail-clearing work, further explorations can begin.

"The book is a welcome addition to a burgeoning field and an instigation to further critical inquiry into multiple literary traditions of the Northwest." - Prairie Fire

About the author

Trevor Carolan was born in Yorkshire. His family emigrated in l957 and he grew up in New Westminster, British Columbia. He has travelled extensively and lived in California, Alberta, and Britain. He began writing professionally at 17, filing dispatches from San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury music scene. Widely published as journalist, literary critic, anthologist, poet, and translator specializing in East-West arts and letters, his work has appeared in five languages.

Dr. Carolan has worked as media advocate on behalf of international human rights, North Korean famine relief, Bosnian refugees, Canadian Aboriginal land claims, and Pacific Coast watershed issues. He served as literary coordinator for the XV Olympic Winter Games in Calgary; and has been Coordinator of writing programs at the Banff Arts Centre. He holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Bond University, Queensland. For more than 20 years he has lived in North Vancouver where he served for three years as an elected municipal councillor and later wrote as political columnist for the North Shore News. He now teaches English at University of the Fraser Valley near Vancouver.

His current works are Another Kind of Paradise: Short Stories from the New Asia-Pacific (Cheng & Tsui), and Against the Shore: The Best of Pacific Rim Review of Books, which he co-edited with Richard Olafson. The Pillow Book of Dr. Jazz, an autobiographical novel, and Celtic Highway, a collection of poetry, are published by Ekstasis Editions. Giving up Poetry, a memoir of his acquaintance with the late poet Allen Ginsberg is published by Banff Centre Press. In 2003 he received a Spirituality & Health Best Books of the Year citation for his Return to Stillness: Twenty Years With a Tai Chi Master (Marlowe), an account of his lengthy studies with Master Ng Ching-Por in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Trevor Carolan's profile page

Librarian Reviews

Making Waves: Reading BC and Pacific Northwest Literature

This scholarly book explores the still evolving literary history of the Pacific Northwest region. These 15 distinct essays contributed by both well-known and lesser-known writers, are interpretive and critical in their nature and scope. Some essays pay homage to essential literary figures, such as Earle Birney and P.K. Page, who set the direction of a literary movement. Others examine the inevitable clash of the traditional and the newly emerging values and the new literacy of place. Readers learn of the history of the Georgia Straight newspaper, how UBC’s Creative Writing program emerged and that the new West Coast poetry derived from the Beat and the Berkeley Renaissance. On reading these essays one gains a sense of the breadth and variety of literary life in BC, and of the poetry and politics connecting Vancouver’s writing community. Brief author biographies are included.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2011-2012.

Other titles by Trevor Carolan