City of Glass (Douglas Coupland book)

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City of Glass
CityofglassDouglasCoupland.jpg
Author Douglas Coupland
Country Canada
Language English
Publisher Douglas and McIntyre
Publication date
2000 (2000)
Media type Print
Followed by Souvenir of Canada

City of Glass is a book by Canadian author Douglas Coupland, published by Douglas and McIntyre in 2000, featuring short essays and photographs of his home town of Vancouver, British Columbia. Each essay deals with a different aspect of the city, such as the glass condominium towers which dominate the Vancouver skyline and give the book its title. It also includes the short story "My Hotel Year", which first appeared in Coupland's Life After God (1994), and the essay on another Vancouver landmark, Lions' Gate Bridge, which was published in Polaroids from the Dead (1996). An updated version of the text was released in 2009.

Canadian-born artist Una Knox produced the majority of photographic images for this book.

Titles of the Essays[edit]

The book is broken down into essays, titled with bold section headings. The essays are alphabetical, with a few artistic insertions and juxtapositions.

The essays are:

abc…
Backlot North
BC Ferries
Beads & Granola
Bellingham & the Border
The Big One
Birds
Cantonese
Chinatown
Couples
Colours
Dim Sum
England's Dreaming
The Everycity
Expo 86
Feng Shui
Fleece
Greenpeace
The Grouse Grind
Grouse Mountain
Grow-ops
The Harbour
Hemp
History … or lack thereof
Japanese Slackers
My Hotel Year (a story from Life After God)
Kits
Love Boats
Main & Hastings
Monster Houses
Mt. Baker
Number 8
Post & Beam
Real Estate!
The Rest of Canada
Salmon
Lions Gate (an essay from Polaroids from the Dead)
Seattle
See-Throughs
SkyTrain
Stanley Park
Stó:lõ
Sushi
Trees
Vansterdam
Victoria
Weather
The West End
Whales
Whistler
Wildlife
Wreck Beach
YVR

Inspiration[edit]

The book jacket’s text describes Coupland’s influence and motivation to write this book.

“I get lots of visitors every year, and they always seem to ask the same questions about Vancouver” ... “Why is the number 8 everywhere?” “What’s the deal with pot?” “And what, exactly, is the deal with BC Ferries?” And so on. People want to know what Vancouver feels like to somebody who lives here – from the inside out. “So this book arises from both love and laziness: love, because I spent my twenties scouring the globe thinking there had to be a better city out there, until it dawned on me that Vancouver is the best one going; and laziness, because I thought I was going to go mental explaining dim sum, the sulphur pits and Kitsilano for the umpteen-hundredth time.”

— Coupland on his inspiration in writing the book[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Coupland, Douglas. “City of Glass”, Douglas & McIntyre, 2000.