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10 Alberta-Published Memoirs, Biographies, and Books About Life
Read Alberta’s November book list shines a spotlight on memoirs, biographies, and books about life. Featuring a graphic novel anthology highlighting the different interpretations of “home,” a collection of biographies about remarkable Indigenous Albertans, a memoir about an author’s childhood in Yellowknife and more, this book list has a diverse array of voices and experiences represented. Visit your local independent bookstore or Alberta public library to pick up one of these books and start reading.
ALBERTA COMICS: HOME
Edited by Alexander Finbow, Shea Proulx, and Emily Pomeroy
In early 2021, graphic novel publisher Renegade Arts Entertainment put out a call for stories that were quintessentially Albertan. The amazingly diverse response they received— from slice-of-life to fantastical fiction and everything in between— have been collected in Alberta Comics: Home. Within the pages, readers will find a curious mix of pathos, optimism, humour, hope, and reflections on all the different things ‘home’ really means.
TRACKING THE CARIBOU QUEEN
By Margaret Macpherson
In this challenging memoir about her formative years in Yellowknife in the ’60s and ’70s, author Margaret Macpherson lays bare her own white privilege, her multitude of unexamined microaggressions, and how her childhood was shaped by the colonialism and systemic racism that continues today.
KNOW IT ALL
By James Marsh
James Marsh tells of his evolution from a troubled childhood to a long career in Canadian publishing that culminated in the creation of The Canadian Encyclopedia — what one reviewer called “the intellectual equivalent of the building of the CPR.”
By Samuel LeBaron
Based on more than thirty years of working with children and adults dying from cancer, Dr. Samuel LeBaron’s memoir, Ordinary Deaths, contains stories of longing, confusion, love, and humility—often woven together. Writing as he faces his terminal illness—Stage IV lung cancer—LeBaron reminds us of our need for human connection when experiencing death and loss.
Published: Jul 26, 2022 by The University of Alberta Press
By Cora Taylor
In Victoria Callihoo: An Amazing Life, author Cora Taylor recounts the life of Victoria Callihoo, a Métis woman who was born before Canada was a nation and was a grandmother by the time Alberta became a province. Through her stories, Taylor will inspire readers with the perspective of a strong woman in the early days of our country.
UNDER THE NAKBA TREE
By Mowafa Said Househ
Mowafa Said Househ grew up in Edmonton as a visible minority and a Muslim with a deeply fractured family history. His parents fled Palestine in 1948 and arrived in Canada in the 1970s. In the year 2000, when Mowafa visited his family’s homeland of Palestine at the beginning of the Second Intifada, he witnessed the effects of prolonged conflict and occupation. His memoir depicts the lives of those who live on occupied land and the struggles that define them.
LOVE & RULES
By Lee McLean
Love & Rules is a collection of essays by master horsewoman Lee McLean that covers the spectrum of love, fear, winning, loss, leadership, aging, growth, illness and recovery— all through the medium of horsemanship.
THIS STRANGE VISIBLE AIR
By Sharon Butala
In this incisive collection, Sharon Butala reflects on the ways her life has changed as she’s grown old. She knows that society fails the elderly massively, and so she tackles ageism and loneliness, friendship and companionship. She writes with pointed wit and acerbic humour about dinner parties and health challenges and forgetfulness and complicated family relationships and the pandemic — and lettuce. And she tells her story with the tremendous skill and beauty of a writer who has masterfully honed her craft over the course of her storied four-decade career.
MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INDIANS
By Cora J. Voyageur
As a child, author Cora Voyageur rarely saw Indigenous individuals represented in her history textbooks or pop culture. Willie Nelson sang “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,” but Voyageur wondered, where were the heroes who looked like her? She chose the title of her book in response to help reflect her reality. In a series of inspirational profiles, My Heroes Have Always Been Indians: A Century of Great Indigenous Albertans celebrates 100 remarkable Indigenous Albertans whose achievements have enriched their communities, the province, and the world.
By Alan Jackson
Nation builders, titans of industry and great thinkers; brilliant writers, movie stars and sports heroes; dirty scoundrels, pirates and hooligans–from the famous and infamous to the nearly forgotten, the great and not-so-great alike have marked Canada’s history in weird and wonderful ways. Pick up Spectacular Canadians by Alan Jackson to learn more!