Herstory 2013

28 November 2012

Herstory 2013: The Canadian Women’s Calendar
by The Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective
Published by Coteau Books
Review by Keith Foster
$15.95 ISBN 9781550504798

Herstory 2013, like previous editions of Herstory, is a celebration of Canadian women who were, for the most part, ordinary women who attained greatness by their extraordinary achievements.

The book follows a basic format – a photo and either a brief life story or special feature of some three dozen Canadian women. Through a one-page thumbnail sketch, the reader can almost feel that he or she has met that woman and come to know her. Every second page contains a seven-day calendar for 2013, with a nifty quotation on the bottom.

These women have pursued a variety of vocations, such as actor, physician, artist, musician, dancer, nurse, educator, scientist, bookseller, pilot, taxidermist, mountain climber, and activist.

One woman who acted in an exemplary way is Molly Reilly. She distinguished herself with her superb flying ability as an aerial photographer during World War II. She once landed a plane that was trailing smoke from its burning engine. Witnesses expected to see a panic-stricken pilot leap from the plane. Instead, she calmly climbed out and, sauntering up to a mechanic, said, “Better take a look at that engine.”

Two of the more prominent names are Lorna Crozier and Doris Giller. Born in Swift Current, SK, Crozier has won numerous literary awards for her poetry and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2011. One of her poems appears on a following page. Giller is best known for the highly prestigious Giller Prize for Canadian literature that was named in her honour.

With these two notable exceptions, most of these women are not well known outside of their own circles. Pity. They deserve much wider recognition.

Herstory 2013 concludes with an index and list of sources for those desiring more information on these fascinating women.


No Comments

Comments are closed.