Edna Barker (1952-2019), Toronto Small Press Book Fair, June 19, 2010 | Photo by Don McLeod
Wordsmith, editor, sister, friend
Edna died on April 24, 2019 of assisted suicide, ending years struggling with a rare form of dementia that gradually robbed her of her vision, language and cognitive skills, and her ability to ride her beloved bike. Edna was my proofreading boss at Harlequin Books in 1976-77 and my good friend for 43 years. She was one of 26 co-founders of FEAC, now Editors Canada, in 1979, serving as secretary and advocate. She also advocated for Casey House and gay rights. Few realized how many dying friends with AIDs she cared for over the years. She advocated building more bike lanes, public libraries, and small houses, like the 12 that she’d owned and renovated on an editor’s salary. The best was the union hall on Barker Avenue, which she turned into a studio/home, and its backyard, into a big vegetable garden. Continue reading
A review of Carlotta Gall’s The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan | OMAR AHMAD
US Marines stand in formation during a transfer of authority ceremony at Shorab camp, in Helmand province, Afghanistan April 29, 2017 | Reuters/James Mackenzie
In 2003 I attended a hearing on Afghanistan at the US Senate. During the hearing, at which a serving general and a few other experts were giving their testimony, the then Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden, leaned forward and said something to the effect of, “I’ve always felt that rather than sending 100,000 troops to Iraq, we should have sent 25,000 troops to Waziristan instead.” Continue reading
The Man Booker rules make submissions from small publishers very tricky because of the size of the print run required and the amount of money that involves. Because of this, a win can be a drain rather than a boost, and costs can outstrip sales if you don’t win.
Jean-Paul Sartre (centre) dining in Paris with filmmaker Claude Lanzmann (left) and Simone de Beauvoir in 1964 | Bettmann/Corbis
On October 10, 1964, the French existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre rejected the Nobel Prize for literature. Continue reading
By As’ad AbuKhalil
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, 75, who was declared dead in a Paris hospital November 10, 2004 in murky circumstances. Painting by Ismail Shammout
“How Arafat Eluded Israel’s Assassination Machine,” the story in the New York Times, which is part of a book which has come out, is a typical Mossad planted story in the U.S. media. Notice that there is an attempt to show that humanitarian consideration went into planning to kill Arafat.
The most fervent effort by Israel to kill Arafat was in the summer of 1982 during the savage siege of Beirut. As I lived those times, I remember how whole apartment buildings would be bombed by concussion bombs from the air ON THE SUSPICION that Arafat was in the building. Continue reading
Act of God, the harbour pilot, the navy?
The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy: Inquiry and Intrigue
John Griffith Armstrong
(Vancouver: UBC Press, 2002)
Hardcover, 256 pp, 6 x 9 inches, 16 b/w photos, maps
Index, Bibliography and Chapter end-notes
New in Paperback: July, 2003
ISBN 0774808918 $24.95 Continue reading
By SARAH IRVING*
Islam Under the Palestine Mandate: Colonialism and the Supreme Muslim Council, Nicholas E. Roberts, I.B.Tauris (2017)
In the dangerous and inaccurate popular narratives on Palestine, religion – a black-and-white tale of Islam versus Judaism – is often given priority of importance. Religious identities are taken as the simple, unquestioned driving force behind the actions of Palestinians throughout history.
A closer look, of course, reveals the flaws in this image. During the Ottoman period, the people of Palestine might have been more likely to identify themselves in terms of their family, neighbourhood, city or profession, depending on which identity the situation called for at a particular time. Continue reading