The shortlisted titles for the 2016 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia are:
Lisa Pasolli, Working Mothers and the Child Care Dilemma: A History of British Columbia’s Social Policy. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2016.
Entrenched attitudes have meant that, until recently, little or nothing was written about the dilemma faced by women who have simultaneously to make a living and to care for their children. Lisa Pasolli remedies this situation in respect to the history of childcare provided for working mothers in British Columbia. Starting with the 1920s, the author tracks how provincial and local authorities have taken on – tardily, grudgingly and incompletely – some responsibility for child care. A careful marshalling of evidence and a crisp style of argument make for a compelling, if unhappy, story.
John Thistle, Resettling the Range: Animals, Ecologies, and Human Communities in British Columbia. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2015.
The British Columbia interior, particularly its grasslands, has not received the attention its historical importance merits. John Thistle’s innovative study paints a graphic, compelling picture of the occupation of the Cariboo-Chilcotin region by newcomers, mainly ranchers. Their imperatives, which their economic and political authority allowed them to enforce, particularly in respect to wild horses and grasshoppers, profoundly altered the ecological balance of the grasslands, often to the detriment of the indigenous peoples living there. This well constructed, clearly written, and persuasive book makes an important contribution to our understanding of an overlooked aspect of British Columbia’s past.
Maria Tippett, Made in British Columbia: Eight Ways of Making Culture. Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2015.
British Columbia possesses a rich literary and artistic culture to which Maria Tippett provides a welcome introduction. Focusing on six men and two women – three authors, two architects, a painter-author, a musician and a playwright – this readable book looks at how artistic creativity intersected with the demands of existence for the individuals. It shows how important was traditional British culture (now vanished) in the artistic formation of most of the eight and in the formation of the province’s “public culture” – government buildings, concert series and art galleries.