I didn’t know that Treaty Day in Fort Providence, N.W.T., was also TB testing day, and I wouldn’t have known it if not for this highly detailed memoir.
Where — I’ve asked myself repeatedly — is the book that sums up the N.W.T., tackles the confusion and history of it and does it in an engaging, complex, real way? It’s here.
“How prepared are we now?” Barry asks, writing sometime in 2004, after finishing his definitive account of the 1918 flu pandemic. His biggest worry had to do with “governments and the truth.”
This book is an actual classic, or at least the cover of the 2011 re-issue I have says it is, and that cover is right.
If you want a detailed, human, funny and tragic picture of changing Inuit life in Canada in the 1950s and ‘60s, look no further.
“I, Peter Baker, known as the Arctic Arab, came from Lebanon during the Turkish conquest,” begins this 1976 memoir.
I had developed the idea, independent of this book, that this screed, which has been denounced repeatedly since it was first published in 2008, might actually contain some merit that had been buried in poor rhetoric and politics. Wrong.
A concise, charming book that definitively documents ‘Yellowknife’s defining neighbourhood.’
Armchair adventure at its finest.
It’s fascinating to read about the lives of people who make a difference in the world, especially when you’ve been fortunate enough to meet them.