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August 02 , 2009

Against the Grain

An Irreverent View of Alberta


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

From the Hardcover edition.
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