behind-the-smile_thumb-1.png
behind-the-smile_thumb-1.png This article is more than 5 years old

BC Premier Christy Clark’s new biography is getting devastating book reviews

The Vancouver Sun calls Christy Clark: Behind the Smile an "uncritical look at the premier" and "not at all critical."

PP.gif

A Victorian poet once remarked that the true purpose of literary criticism is “to make the best that has been thought and known in the world current everywhere” so that we may all “live in an atmosphere of sweetness and light.”

By that standard, how does Christy Clark: Behind the Smile – the new “unauthorized” biography about BC Premier Christy Clark written by a former member of her own party – stack up with Western civilization’s other great works of literature?

Not good. Terrible, actually. At least if you believe what those snooty book critics have to say about it.

That might come as a surprise, seeing as the book’s cover even features a quote from former federal Liberal leader Bob Rae promising Christy Clark: Behind the Smile is a “must-read.”

But maybe you’re wondering: what would the cover of Christy Clark: Behind the Smile look like with real quotes from real book reviews?

The Vancouver Sun says Christy Clark: Behind the Smile is “a friendly biography of the premier” that is “clearly written” with “pages and pages of photos,” but also adds that the book “is not at all critical” of the premier. 

behindthesmile-review1.jpg

Meanwhile, Maclean’s magazine explores the book’s intriguing back story involving the relationship between Judi Tyabji, the author of Christy Clark: Behind the Smile, and the book’s subject: Christy Clark.

Macleans’ review of Christy Clark: Behind the Smile points out Clark and Tyabji “first met when the two were Young Liberals in the early 1980s,” a friendship that was strengthened after the author and her husband, former BC Liberal leader Gordon Wilson, received a $128,000 grant from Clark’s government, with $67,000 apparently going directly to her biographer.

“The biography was unauthorized,” the review says, but adds that “it’s not clear the premier will appreciate the help.”

behindthesmile-review3.jpg

That thread is also picked up by a review in The Georgia Straight, which details the unusual circumstances where the subject of a biography helped the biography’s author “get through some tough times.”

behindthesmile-review4.jpg 

And over at The Tyee, another book review confronts the issue of authorial intent.

Suggesting Christy Clark: Behind the Smile includes instances where the author “cleanses” history, “relies on lengthy quotes from Clark herselfand supportive comments from her inner-circle” (some of whom currently face criminal charges) and “gives Clark plenty of space to expand on her oft-repeated soundbites,” the review says the “error-laced book reads like [a] promo in an election year.”

behindthesmile-review2.jpg

Well, who cares what those highbrow critics think, right?

Here’s what “George” from Amazon.ca thinks about the Christy Clark: Behind the Smile:

behindthesmile-review5.jpg

Tough crowd. 

Photo: JON_CF. Used under Creative Commons license. Heritage House Books.

PressProgress is powered by readers. Not by advertisers.

We’re not a corporate media outlet. We’re a small non-profit news organization that produces award-winning journalism with support from our readers.

If you see value in ad-free, non-profit journalism that holds powerful interests accountable, please consider making an investment in our work today.

 

Invest in Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2022-05-015 News

Doug Ford’s Budget Includes a Hidden $1.3 Billion ‘Decrease’ in Education Funding

Related Stories

News

Several Hundred Jobs for Ontario Education Workers Are Set to Be Eliminated After the Election

View the post
Analysis

Here’s What Ontario’s Biggest Labour Unions Have To Say About Doug Ford’s Anti-Worker Track Record

View the post
News

Ministry of Colleges Shut Down Ontario PC Candidate’s Private College After It Ran Unaccredited Program

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get All Your Canadian Labour News in One Place
Why do newspapers always have a business section but not a labour section? Good news! We’ve launched a newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.