There are going to be many interesting projects launched to celebrate Vancouver's 125th birthday this year but for lovers of VanLit a really exciting one is the announcement last week that ten "classic" books about the city will be finding their way back into print. (See the announcement here.)
Four of the books are non-fiction. (Full disclosure: I was on the panel that selected these titles for reissue.) They include the oral memoirs of the radical labour leader Bill White, A Hard Man to Beat; the superb oral histories of the Downtown Eastside collected by Daphne Marlatt and Carole Itter in Opening Doors; Ed Starkins wonderful murder-mystery-cum-social history, Who Killed Janet Smith?; and Rolf Knight's evocation of the city's working waterfront, Along the No. 20 Line.
Another four are fiction: Class Warfare, by Don Fraser; The Inverted Pyramid, by Bertrand Sinclair; A Credit to Your Race, by Truman Green; and Crossings, by Betty Lambert.
The collection is rounded out with two books of poetry: Anhaga, by Jon Furberg, and Day and Night, by Dorothy Livesay.
Some of these titles have been out of print and hard to find for years. I bought my copy of Opening Doors, for example, about ten years ago at Macleod's Books and it is so well thumbed that it is falling apart. I look forward to getting a fresh copy of it and all the other titles on the list.