The Works of Joy Kogawa

By the end of author and poet Joy Kogawa’s remarkable four-day visit to our area, we had sold out of her most recent book – Gently to Nagasaki, but thanks to Vancouver’s Historic Joy Kogawa House we were able to get our hands on more copies of that powerful work as well as six more titles by or about her. From the classic semi-autobiographical novel Obasan, her first published work set partially in Slocan City, and the sequel Emily Kato, to her two children’s books Naomi’s Tree and Naomi’s Road, if you didn’t get enough of Joy Kogawa we have got you covered!

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Joy Kogawa to speak on “Forgiveness” in New Denver area June 7 and 8

Famed Canadian novelist and memoirist Joy Kogawa will give a series of West Kootenay talks on the theme of “Forgiveness” beginning in the New Denver area on June 7 and 8.

Joy Kogawa
Image Credit: Yukiko Onley

Kogawa is the author of the 1981 Canadian classic novel Obasan, based on the author’s own internment down the lake at Slocan City during World War II. Kogawa is a member of the Order of Canada and Order of British Columbia. In 2010 she received the Japanese government’s Order of the Rising Sun for her contribution to preserving Japanese-Canadian history.

This year Kogawa is the headliner at the annual Convergence Writers’ Weekend in Silverton. She will speak on the theme of “Writing Toward Forgiveness” on Friday, June 7 at 7 pm at the Silverton Gallery. Her talk is open to the public as well as Convergence registrants; cost to the public is $12.

Kogawa’s other talks are on the theme of “The Journey Toward Forgiveness.” She will speak at 2 pm on Saturday, June 8 at the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre in New Denver. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students or seniors.

On Sunday, June 9 at 3 pm, Kogawa will speak at the Nelson United Church, and on Monday, June 10, she will talk at Kaslo’s Langham Centre.

Gently to Nagasaki cover
Image Credit: Caitlin Press

The focus of Kogawa’s West Kootenay talks will be her most recent book, the 2016 memoir Gently to Nagasaki, which is available at Raven’s Nest. The Vancouver Sun’s Douglas Todd called the book “a mature work of history and spirituality, bravely detailing the intersection between mass global evils and those perpetrated intimately by members of one’s own family.

“Kogawa’s memoir deeply explores how denial works in regards to racism, paedophilia, nuclear power, Canadian internment camps and Japanese war atrocities,” Todd said. The Toronto Globe and Mail praised Gently to Nagasaki for “breaking the us/them dichotomy of victimization.”

(This post is based on the Convergence Writers’ Weekend press release. For more information visit <www.widespot.ca/convergence-writers-weekend>.)

Beat the heat in style!

As things warm up outside, it may be time to think of ways to beat the heat. May we suggest cool natural fibre fashions as an integral element of any successful strategy. Raven’s Nest currently has a fine selection of bamboo, organic cotton, and hemp clothing from Nomads, OÖM and other eco-designers that should certainly fill the bill. Just drop by the next time you find yourself in sunny downtown New Denver.  🙂

Image Credits: Nomads and OÖM

Nomads is back for Spring Summer 2019!

Nomads Hemp Wear, the Slocan Valley’s own organic eco-clothing pioneer, is back and as strong as ever with their latest Spring Summer collection. Raven’s Nest has a nice selection of new ladies fashions – tops & bottoms, dresses & skirts, as well as bras & underwear. Drop by and try something on!

OÖM’s 2019 Spring/Summer collection is here!

Bright and colourful spring fashions have begun to arrive from Montreal’s OÖM Ethikwear. OÖM designs stylish, trend-setting clothing that is eco-friendly and ethically produced right here in Canada. Pictured below are a few of the styles we are currently carrying at Raven’s Nest.

More about OÖM and their philosophy: “Since 2005, OÖM has made socially and environmentally ethical clothing a reality! Behind each red button is an ethical philosophy offering consumers the opportunity to wear their conscience, expressing themselves through clothing that reflects their personal values.

“Proud of the positive and engaged message our clothing conveys, we ensure their production by socially engaged organizations in Québec. OÖM clothes are made entirely from organic cotton and eco-responsible fabrics including 70% recycled cotton, recycled polyester, Tencel and hemp.

“Our goal as designers is to progressively overcome the difficulties of producing perfectly ethical clothing. We offer complete transparency on the production of each of our collections.

“Our business does not act independently of its environment, but rather is a responsible citizen participating in the active development of civil society. This is why we have always donated 1% of our sales to organizations that contribute to the betterment of our society and environment.”

Three new works by West Kootenay authors

Our fine selection of regional books has expanded recently with the addition of brand new works by three West Kootenay authors – Luanne Armstrong, Ellen Burt, and Rod Dunnett, all of whom live on the shores of Kootenay Lake.

A Bright and Steady Future: The Story of an Enduring Friendship by Luanne Armstrong
Armstrong, who lives on her 100-year-old family farm near Boswell, weaves together many stories set in the Kootenays over the seventies and eighties.
The core of this work, which is Armstrong’s 21st book, is the strength and endurance of women’s friendships. Author Jane Silcott writes of Armstrong’s memoir, “From the Kootenays to the coast and back again, from poverty and single parenthood to writing and activism, love and pain, A Bright and Steady Flame is a love letter to a fifty-year friendship and a memoir that offers extraordinary insights into aging, love, loss, and joy.”

What Feels Like Forever: A Memoir of Johnson’s Landing by Ellen Burt
Currently a Nelson resident, Burt has lived most of her life in the remote communities of Argenta and Johnson’s Landing. She has written one previous book, When the Path is Not a Straight Line, which we also carry at Raven’s Nest. Acclaimed Kootenay poet Fred Wah says of Burt’s new book, “This back-to-the-land coming of age narrative … is a captivating account of a smallholder: the farming, the firewood, the frozen pipes and, above all, the community … a sweet story.”

A Place in Time by Rod Dunnett
Dunnett lives in Kaslo, where he was a schoolteacher at J.V. Humphries, and spends considerable time hiking and exploring around our Valley of the Ghosts. Reading the story of a young Sandon girl tragically killed by a 1930s avalanche inspired him to write this ghost/adventure story of a Vancouver family’s exciting summer vacation. Although primarily aimed at pre- and young teens, old-time residents have also enjoyed being transported back in time to childhood memories, and anyone familiar with this area will be entertained as they reaquaint themselves with Sandon-area landmarks and the history of the silver boom.

Photo Credit: Oxygen Art Centre