Power, corruption and lies – new book on Vancouver history digs deep

A man and woman walk across the still-relatively-new Lions Gate Bridge, 1939. City of Vancouver Archives. CVA 260-995. Photograph by James Crookall.

A man and woman walk across the still-relatively-new Lions Gate Bridge, 1939. City of Vancouver Archives. CVA 260-995. Photograph by James Crookall.

It’s likely that even most Vancouverites won’t know the facts or even the names behind many of the stories collected in a forthcoming book on the city and its history. Anvil Press’s Vancouver Confidential, to be published Sept. 15, collects essays by a variety of writers on unknown and obscure stories from the fringes of Vancouver.

Police corruption, blinkered courts, a murder/suicide in Chinatown and the case of the Lovers’ Lane Marauder are all here, featured in a book the publisher promises will “honour the chorus line behind the star performer, the mug in the mugshot, the victim in the murder, the teens in the gang and the ‘slum’ in the path of the bulldozer.”

Among the cast of forgotten characters are the Lovers’ Lane Marauder, a murder victim on trial in her own murder case, ’30s police chiefs and gangsters, and the “Al Capone of the Japanese community.”

Authors include Aaron Chapman, whose 2012 book Liquor, Lust and the Law looked at the history of the Penthouse Nightclub in downtown Vancouver. Will Woods, who founded tour company Forbidden Vancouver, contributes a story on a once-controversial figure, Mayor Gerry McGeer. Other writers include Eve Lazarus and Vancouver Confidential editor John Belshaw, a local historian and co-author of the book Vancouver Noir: 1930-1960.

6x9_VanConfidential_FIN.indd

If you want to be part of the excitement and hear some of these stories firsthand, check out the book launch Sept. 21 at the Emerald Supper Club (555 Gore St., Chinatown). Many of the book’s writers will be in attendance. Otherwise, you can pick up Vancouver Confidential as of Sept. 15 in select local bookstores or through the publisher’s website. Suggested retail price is $20 for the 240 pp book, which includes illustrations.

East Hastings Street 1948: The State with its wall sign proclaiming the Sunday “midnite show”—actually, Monday morning. VPL Special Collections 80617.

East Hastings Street 1948: The State with its wall sign proclaiming the Sunday “midnite show”—actually, Monday morning. VPL Special Collections 80617.

Tagged: , , ,

Comments are closed for this post

Comments are closed.