Against the Grain: An Irreverent View of Alberta (Paperback)

Against the Grain: An Irreverent View of Alberta By Catherine Ford Cover Image

Against the Grain: An Irreverent View of Alberta (Paperback)


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A contrarian view of Alberta and Albertans from the outspoken and often controversial former Calgary Herald columnist.

In 2005, Alberta celebrates its centenary: a hundred-year stretch that has seen the province catapulted from being little more than thinly populated grassland and mountain to one of Canada’s richest provinces, one with a fair claim to being perpetually misunderstood. Albertans, of course, are passionate about their province, even when to outsiders the sentiment is baffling. For instance, can a liberal feminist like renowned columnist Catherine Ford find happiness in a right-wing, neo-conservative province? The short form of Ford’s answer is “Yes, I can. But . . .” The long version is the intimate, revealing, entertaining, and opinionated picture of the province she paints in Against the Grain.

On the surface, the province is monolithic in its politics, anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-choice in its opinions, and macho in its demeanour. But Ford shows that this is a lopsided, outsider’s view of Alberta, and to prove it she takes readers on a tour from Calgary to Banff and Jasper, Fort McMurray, Edmonton, and beyond, pointing out the good, the bad, and the plain bewildering. Tough-minded but loving, Against the Grain gives outsiders the real goods on Alberta in this, its centenary year.
In a forty-year career in journalism, Catherine Ford has lived and worked across the country, but her home is Alberta and that’s where her heart is. Until her recent retirement, she was national columnist for CanWest News Service, based at the Calgary Herald. A past president of Mensa Canada, Ford is the winner of ten Western Ontario Newspaper Awards.
Product Details ISBN: 9780771047787
ISBN-10: 0771047789
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2006
Pages: 272
Language: English
"A pastiche of opinion and observation, the book whips up an enjoyable mixture of personal memoir and provincial gossip, acerbic critique and porcupine defensiveness. In short, it reflects the province it portrays: opinionated, fascinating and funny."
Globe and Mail

"Ford is well-informed, sharp and witty."
Calgary Herald

"A fun read."
Quill & Quire

"All of Alberta misses Catherine Ford. The province needs her, if only to get mad at her."
—Jeffrey Simpson