Spring 2015


U of A alumni share their new books, including a history of ink, a graphic novel about two Aboriginal brothers and a reflection on 100 years of ALES.

Compiled by Bridget Stirling

Books stacked

Photo by John Ulan

The Dismantling of the Mind

Jay Ingram,

Photo by Richard Siemens

People might assume that science broadcaster and award-winning author Jay Ingram, ’67 BSc, ’09 DSc (Honorary), wrote a book about Alzheimer’s because he has had personal experience with the disease. And he has — three of his family members have died of dementia. But that’s not why the former co-host of Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet wrote The End of Memory: A Natural History of Aging and Alzheimer’s. “I wanted an anatomy of the disease, a natural history,” he writes in the introduction. “Where does it come from? What causes it? Is it a natural part of aging? How are we trying to combat it?”

We asked Ingram what most surprised or intrigued him while writing this, his 14th book. Read some of what he had to say.

Overcoming Conflicting Loyalties: Intimate Partner Violence, Community Resources and Faith

by Irene Sevcik, ’61 BA, Michael Rothery, Nancy Nason-Clark and Robert Pynn, University of Alberta Press, uap.ualberta.ca

To date, little has been published about the place of spirituality in working with survivors of intimate-partner violence. This book examines the intersection of faith and culture in the lives of religious and ethnocultural women in the context of the work of FaithLink, a unique community initiative that encourages religious leaders and secular service providers to work together.

Home Again: Canadian Football 1995–2014

by Frank Cosentino, ’69 MA, ’73 PhD, Lulu Press

Home Again tells the story of the Canadian Football League from 1995 to 2014, a period full of ups, downs and surprises. The year 1995 represents the only time in history when a team outside Canada won the Grey Cup. The Grey Cup champion Baltimore Stallions and other American teams were unable to survive past the 1995 season. The Stallions were later resurrected and reincarnated in Montreal as the Alouettes, and in 2014, the Ottawa Redblacks entered the CFL to make it a nine-team league once again.

Kapital Capital

by José M. Alonso-Sed, ’70 MA, ’83 BCom, ’90 PhD, Ediciones Universal

At first glance a historical novel, Kapital Capital soon becomes a political fantasy peppered with great nostalgia for Cuba’s past way of life. Upon the fictional death of Fidel Castro, alumni of a military academy in Havana gather for an unusual high school reunion to celebrate the arrival to the island of a liberator.

Residential Schools: With the Words and Images of Survivors

by Larry Loyie with Constance Brissenden, ’72 MA, and Wayne K. Spear, Indigenous Education Press, firstnationswriter.com

This full-colour national history features seven chapters, more than 45 survivor memories in support of the text and more than 120 images. The book is the ninth collaboration between the authors. Loyie is a survivor (former student) of St. Bernard Mission residential school in Grouard, Alta.

The Social Life of Ink

by Ted Bishop, ’72 BA(Hons), Viking Canada, penguinrandomhouse.ca

Curious about its impact on culture, literature and the course of history, Bishop sets out to explore the story of ink. From Budapest to Buenos Aires, he traces the lives of the innovators who created the ballpoint pen — revolutionary technology that still requires exact engineering today. An inquisitive and personal tour around the world, this book asks us to look more closely at something we see so often that we don’t see it at all.

Niches: Where Do You Fit in a Crazy World?

by Michael MacMillan, ’73 PhD, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

This is a book about you, your relationships and where you best fit in life’s journey. Following an exploration of love, the fundamental focus of the book is discovering what work you do best and harmonizing it with how you earn your living. MacMillan endeavours to illustrate how to find one’s true niche. The book promises that its hints, steps and 10 real-life stories will resonate with readers and inspire the courage people need to make their way to their real work and true passion.


by Wayne Elsner, ’76 BSc, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, wayneelsner.com

Lightning is always powerful and occasionally deadly. The bolt that hits Jim Tannion, however, is different. It gives him skills and abilities that make him think he could be the closest thing to a superhero the world has ever seen, skills he could use to heal any injury, enhance his body and control the bodies of others with only a touch. Then he discovers he can kill. Tannion knows he has to keep his new-found skills a secret.

Fundamentals of Public Relations and Marketing Communications in Canada

by Colin Babiuk with Leah-Ann Lymer, ’90 BA, and William Wray Carney, editors, University of Alberta Press, uap.ualberta.ca

Experts in public relations, marketing and communications have created a comprehensive textbook specifically for Canadian students and instructors. Logically organized to lead students from principles to their application, and generously supplemented with examples and case studies, the text is meant for post-secondary classes and to serve as a reference for established professionals and international communicators working in Canada.

The Chinchaga Firestorm: When the Moon and Sun Turned Blue

by Cordy Tymstra, ’91 MSc, University of Alberta Press, uap.ualberta.ca

In 1950, the biggest firestorm documented in North America burned 1.4 million hectares of northern Alberta and British Columbia forest. The fire’s smoke was seen around the world, causing the moon and the sun to appear blue. This is a historical study of the effects of fire on the ecological process. Using technical explanations and archival discoveries, the author shows the beneficial yet destructive effects of forest fires. Tymstra tells stories that demonstrate people’s spirit, resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and persistence in the struggle against nature’s devastating power.

No, Really, Where Are You From?

by Nancy Ng, ’97 BA, self-published, nancyngsite.com

Ng tells the true stories of how eight Chinese individuals negotiated the experience of being a visible minority in mainstream Canada. With insight and inspiration, Ng writes of these remarkable people’s experiences with their Chinese culture from childhood to adulthood.

A Year of Days

by Myrl Coulter, ’00 BA(Hons), ’01 MA, ’07 PhD, University of Alberta Press, uap.ualberta.ca

Following her mother’s death, Coulter returned to the eulogy she wrote for the funeral and expanded it into meditations on the troubling absence of what had been a fraught relationship. The result is 15 personal narrative essays that travel through the vacations, annual holidays, special occasions and ordinary days each year brings. In A Year of Days, Coulter quests for the mother who is already gone and yet remains.


by Kate Asha Boorman, ’00 BA, ’04 MA, Harry N. Abrams

In the woods outside Emmeline’s settlement, a powerful enemy lurks, one that wiped out much of the population generations ago. Inside the walls, Emmeline is watched for Waywardness — the rule-breaking behaviour that sent her grandmother to her death. Emmeline knows she shouldn’t go into the woods, but there’s something calling to her.

The Outside Circle: A Graphic Novel

by Patti LaBoucane-Benson, ’90 BPE, ’01 MSc, ’09 PhD; art by Kelly Mellings, ’00 BFA, Anansi, houseofanansi.com

In this graphic novel, two Aboriginal brothers surrounded by poverty, drugs and gang violence try to overcome centuries of historic trauma to bring about positive change in their lives. The book is drawn from the author’s 20 years of work on healing and reconciliation of Aboriginal men.

A Century of Solutions: A History of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES), 1915–2015

by Curtis Gillespie, ’85 BA(Spec), University of Alberta Press, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, ales.ualberta.ca

ALES is 100 years old. Founded in 1915, it has, over the course of a century, provided an education to more than 12,000 of Alberta’s sons and daughters and conducted groundbreaking research of global importance. This book chronicles the faculty through a fascinating array of characters and their stories, discoveries, setbacks and successes.

The Body in Question(s) Le Corps En Question(s)

by Cristian Berco, Sean Caulfield, ’92 BFA, ’96 MFA, and Isabelle Van Grimde, University of Alberta Press, vangrimdecorpssecrets.com

This publication was produced in conjunction with a creative research project that brought together contemporary dance, visual art and academic research to produce an exhibition/performance exploring contemporary perspectives of the body. Twelve essays in both French and English discuss the creative and collaborative process of developing the dance and visual art pieces for the exhibition/performance.

The Civic-mindedness of Trees

by Ken Howe, ’82 BMus, Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd., wolsakandwynn.ca

Howe’s poems promise witty and philosophical meditations on the haunting presence of the natural world, and on the familiar presence of humanity within it. In this book, eccentric odes to oak trees and ground squirrels renew the mysteries of plant and animal life; it is not only an idealized Eden untouched by people, but a world, also, of highways that skirt the abyss and of “the great ruined jobsites of space.”

Old Bones: A Casey Templeton Mystery

by Gwen Molnar, ’48 Dip(Ed), ’49 BEd, ’78 BA, Dundurn, dundurn.com/books/old_bones

While helping with a real dinosaur dig at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Casey Templeton finds a piece of dinosaur tooth. Excited, he spends all afternoon looking for the rest of the tooth, but all he ends up with is a nasty sunburn. Lying in his hotel room that night, he hears two men planning a robbery of precious artifacts from the Tyrrell. Casey will have to use all his ingenuity and skills to thwart the planned heist. Can he do it?

Painted Faces on the Prairies: Cantonese Opera and the Edmonton Chinese Community

by Helen Kwan Yee Cheung, ’13 MA, University of Alberta Press/Bruce Peel Special Collections Library, uap.ualberta.ca

This exhibition catalogue traces close to 100 years of Cantonese opera in Edmonton within the changing dynamics of the Chinese community. It tells a story of life experiences on the Prairies by highlighting the inextricable relationship between the Edmonton Chinese community and Cantonese opera as this cultural practice moves deftly through historical periods between 1890 and 2009.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James

by Emma Hooper, ’03 BA(Hons), Hamish Hamilton (Canada), Simon & Schuster (United States), hamishhamilton.ca

Otto finds a note left by his wife in the kitchen of their farmhouse in windswept Saskatchewan. Eighty-three-year-old Etta will be walking 3,200 kilometres to see the ocean, but somehow, Otto understands. He took his own journey once before, to fight in a faraway land. With Etta gone, Otto struggles with his demons of war. Hooper was featured as one of The Guardian’s most promising debut novelists of 2015.

When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash

by Hilliard MacBeth, ’71 BA, Dundurn, dundurn.com/books/when_bubble_bursts

Investment manager MacBeth believes that Canadians have too much of their investment capital and savings tied up in real estate when better opportunities are about to appear. He argues that Canada is in the midst of a real-estate bubble that will soon burst. What can Canadians do to prepare financially for retirement and to take advantage of the coming buying opportunity?

The End of Memory: A Natural History of Aging and Alzheimer’s

by TORONTO, ’67 BSc, ’09 DSc (Honorary), HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., jayingram.ca

This award-winning science writer charts the history of Alzheimer’s from before it was noted by Alois Alzheimer right through to the 21st century, as researchers continue to search for a cure. In the spirit of Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor of All Maladies, this book is for those who want to find out the truth about an affliction that courses through families and, in some cases, inexplicably affects people early in their lives.

From the Elephant’s Back: Collected Essays and Travel Writings

by Lawrence Durrell with introduction by editor James Gifford, ’06 PhD, University of Alberta Press, uap.ualberta.ca

Best known for his novels and travel writing, Durrell defied easy classification within 20th-century modernism. Recontextualized, these 38 essays and letters reveal Durrell’s maturation as an artist. Durrell fans and scholars will treasure this selection of rare non-fiction.