Baja to Vancouver

ISBN: 0972508023
ISBN 13: 9780972508025
By: Douglas Coupland Ralph Rugoff

Check Price Now


Art Canada Canadian Canadian Lit Canadiana Non Fiction Nonfiction To Read Travel Vancouver

About this book

"Baja to Vancouver: The West Coast and Contemporary Art" is the first major survey of recent art from the western edge of the United States, Canada, and Baja California, Mexico. Focusing on works that engage with the social landscapes of this transnational corridor, this publication presents compelling and surprising images of a distinctive cultural terrain--one that is arguably the most vital region of contemporary art production in North America today. With essays by Vancouverite Douglas Coupland, Matthew Coolidge of the Culver City, California-based Center for Land Use Interpretation, Lisa Robertson of the Vancouver-based Office for Soft Architecture, and others, and more than 110 reproductions of artwork by Delia Brown, Roman de Salvo, Trisha Donnelly, Stan Douglas, Sam Durant, Harrell Fletcher & Miranda July, Chris Johanson, Ken Lum, Liz Magor, Roy McMakin, Larry Sultan, Ron Terada and others.

Reader's Thoughts

Brian Gifford

About Vancouver looks good


This is Douglas Coupland's highly personal take on all the little things that make Vancouver Vancouver -- fleece vests and Teva sandals, Japanese teenage girl fashion, BC Ferry food, old British ladies, the sulphur heaps, Stanley Park, leaky condos.... As someone who got to know Vancouver only as an adult, introduced by my husband who grew up there (and is a Genxer too), it strikes me that Coupland is describing his generation's take on the city with amazing accuracy and clarity. It's illustrated with vibrant photos and includes a terrific memoir-essay on life in the Hastings and Main area, Vancouver's skid row.

Adam Humphreys

I bought this on amazon whilst homesick for Vancouver - seems like a money grab type thing from Coupland. Nothing serious or interesting in the book - the tone is mostly like an ironic travel guide.

Julian Haigh

Coupland is a method writer. He basically steals snippets of real life and other peoples' experience and puts it together in a book. Most people that work with him don't like him: I live in Vancouver and I've heard some horror stories. That said, no other author writes like him - he has a way of connecting with the city and the experience of those who live here and the way he writes is always worthy of a quick relaxing read. Look at some photos and read his small snippets of insight. Perfect as a coffee table book or in a waiting room.


I read this book on the plane ride home from BC. The very best time to read it.


some people hate vancouver, some people love vancouver.Coupland captures reasons for both. amazing photos and narrative.


I found this book extremely funny after living in Vancouver for a year. Coupland captures my love and frustration with this place with his dry and sarcastic wit. I wouldn't really recommend this book for anyone who hasn't visited the city though.


A perfect portrayal of Vancouver. At least it seemed that way; I've only been in the city for a year, and this book showed me much that was new to me. Fun read, good wit, interesting photographs.


Coupland juxtaposes a city's quest for identity with the twentysomething's personal quest: it's all muddled and confused now, and sometimes it's even awful, but there's SO MUCH hope for the future. I really like seeing Vancouver (where I've never been, sadly) through Coupland's eyes. This is not a guidebook, but a personal tour by a somewhat funky (and therefore, awesome) friend who shows you patchwork pieces of the place which can then be made into the tapestry of your choosing. Mine has a lot of dangling threads, but I like it anyway.


A fantastic love story.


witty & interesting, but not so much if you're not very familiar with or don't give a damn about vancouver. though that is not to say the former shouldn't read it.. i would still suggest it to people interested in the city.

Paul Eckert

I read this in preparation for a vacation in Vancouver, and I’m glad I did. As usual, Coupland is a master at social and cultural interpretation, only this time he applies his skills to his hometown of Vancouver. In a style similar to that of Souvenir of Canada, Coupland writes short essays on subjects which are accompanied by pertinent photography. City of Glass riffs on everything Vancouver, from the lax marijuana laws and abundance of inter-racial marriages to Stanley Park and the ‘see-through’ buildings that are characteristic of its skyline. I read most of the book before landing in Vancouver, and I’m glad I did, for it gave me a different appreciation of the city, as if I already knew about it. I read the last few pages in the hotel on the last day. On the second to last page, Coupland recommends having drinks at sunset in the Empire Landmark restaurant which is at the top of the building and gives a rotating view of the breathtaking scenery. I took his suggestion, since we were already staying at the Empire Landmark hotel, and I’m glad I did. As he says, it is a “preview of heaven.” More gorgeous scenery you’d be hard-pressed to find. Highly recommended for anyone planning a trip to Vancouver, or any Coupland fan who wants to hear the man explain the city he loves.

Kate Jongbloed

I love Douglas Coupland's look into his surroundings. This book and Made in Canada hit my feelings about my country and my current city right on the head.

Yuri Artibise

City of Glass reminds Vancouverites why we live here, and tells guests why they should visit. It is the book you leave in the guest bedroom to inspire and delight out-of-towners. It's brochure like quality starts with the books physical form. City of Glass is bright and colorful—reminiscent of a sunny day in the city. Its cover is even colored in the omnipresent green and blue of Vancouver’s branding. The title of the book comes from Vancouver’s large number of skyscrapers with glass or mirror fronts. Like the glass of it’s title, Coupland’s book reflects his personal memories of the city he loves.Inspired by Japans underground ‘zines’, the book is an illustrated collection of vignettes and reflections on Vancouver. it takes readers on an alphabetical tour, from BC Ferries to YVR. Along the way, Coupland drops a lot of personal observations, historic trivia and often overlooked facts.The book also includes a report of Coupland’s essay, “My Hotel Year,” previously published in Life After God. The essay is a nice intermission from the vignettes. It provides readers with a glimpse beyond the glass and into a gritty reality that is also part of Vancouver.Interspersed throughout the book are some photographs of Vancouver at it’s best and pictures of Vancouver, ephemera such as Campbell’s soup cans with trilingual Cantonese/English/French labels and a salmon ‘color fan.’


Just moved to the area and got this book as a birthday present from a close friend. It was great to learn more about my new home from Douglas Coupland himself. A series of short, quirky, and honest essays from someone who loves Vancouver and the surrounding area. Highly recommend it to anyone who lives in the Metro Vancouver area, visits often, or is thinking of stopping by.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *