“GENES THAT NEVER FADE” IN LITERARY REVIEW OF CANADA

In Literary Review of Canada, April 2013

"Originally The Juggler’s Children was subtitled “A Family History Gene by Gene,” which is an apt description of the plodding nature of DNA research. One DNA test always needs another. Its main contribution to Abraham’s project was providing confirmation of what was already known, and pointers for further research. Science can give you ideas, but not the story line."

Read Susan Crean's book review of  Carolyn Abraham's The Juggler’s Children: Journey into Family, Legend and the Genes that Bind Us.

BOOK REVIEW: “REID REDUCED” IN NOW MAGAZINE

Book Review of Bill Reid: The Making of an Indian by Maria Tippett (Random House) in Now Magazine, March 4, 2004 

Maria Tippett is first out of the gate with her bio of renowned Haida artist Bill Reid. It covers the bases, delivering a readable, informative text about the artist's life and work (Reid died of Parkinson's disease in 1998), but it's a cranky, limited first read of the man. Tippett's subtitle - The Making Of An Indian - identifies the theme of her study, and it's obvious that she perceives Reid as something of a charlatan. The inconsistencies in his story about his relationship to his Haida ancestry are seen as opportunistic, as are his collaborations with other artists and his use of assistants in his large-scale carvings.

Read Susan Crean's book review "Reid Reduced" of Maria Tippett's Bill Reid: The Making of an Indian online here.

BOOK REVIEW: “NATIONALISM WITHOUT WALLS”

Book Review in Geist 22

Richard Gwyn tries to get away with two puns in the title of his book Nationalism Without Walls: The Unbearable Lightness of Being Canadian (McClelland & Stewart), trading off on both André Malraux's cultural manifesto of the 1960s Museum Without Walls, and Milan Kundera's novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Read Susan Crean's book review of  "Nationalism Without Walls: The Unbearable Lightness of Being Canadian," online here.

BOOK REVIEW: “POLITICAL WIVES: THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS” IN BROADSIDE

"PACKAGING POLITICAL PARTNERS"

Book Review of  Political Wives: The Lives of the Saints, by Susan Riley. Toronto: Deneau, 1987

"If the world were evolving according to a feminist agenda, political wives would be on the endangered species list next to the Eskimo Curlew which once flourished on this continent in hearty numbers but is now so rarely sighted that it is presumed extinct. Instead, in this fin de siècle era of post-feminism and primetime electioneering, she has made a startling return, a comeback which has been completely scripted and staged."

"Packaging Political Partners" can be read online via the Broadside: A Feminist Review digital archives.

BOOK REVIEW “BODY BLOW TO ART HISTORY” IN BROADSIDE

Book Review of Feminism and Art History: Questioning the Litany, Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard, eds., New York: Harper & Row. 1982  

They are the gatekeepers of Official Culture and responsible for devising an aesthetic which legitimizes the values of the modern artistocracy—the mandarins, tycoons and idle rich who hold the purse, strings and govern the policies which control the arts. Excellence, it turns out, is in the eye of the beholder and from experience we know that it is rarely either female or Canadian.

Read Susan Crean's review "Body Blow to Art History" online from the Broadside archive.