Before I Was a Critic I Was a Human Being

Before I Was a Critic I Was a Human Being is the debut collection of essays by Amy Fung. In it, Fung takes a closer examination at Canada’s mythologies of multiculturalism, settler colonialism, and identity through the lens of a national art critic.

Following the tangents of a foreign-born perspective and the complexities and complicities in participating in ongoing acts of colonial violence, the book as a whole takes the form of a very long land acknowledgement. Taken individually, each piece roots itself in the learning and unlearning process of a first generation settler immigrant as she unfurls each region’s sense of place and identity.

Amy Fung

Amy Fung is a writer, researcher and curator born in Kowloon, Hong Kong, and spent her formative years in and around Edmonton on Treaty 6 Territory. Her writing has been published and commissioned by national and international publications, galleries, museums, festivals, and journals since 2007. Her multifarious curatorial projects have spanned exhibitions, cinematic and live presentations, as well as discursive events across Canada and abroad. Before I Was a Critic I Was a Human Being is her first book.

Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price

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Prologue 14 $1.40

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The author briefly summarizes her life to contextulize the persepctive of her essays and her experiences as Asian woman living in a former British colony in the 21st century. 17 $1.70

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The author writes about growing up in Edmonton, and her observations of class, race and colonialism in the city as a young woman. 13 $1.30

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The author discusses her time working a corporate job at a publisher, the events that led to her resignation, and the effects working in a high pressure environment had on herself and her co-workers. 10 $1.00

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The author writes about the High Level Bridge in Edmonton and the people who have lost their battles with mental illness on it. 8 $0.80

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The author writes about a road trip to a friend’s family farm, and the treaty territories she crossed as she drove across the Prairies in their historic colonial context. 12 $1.20

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The author discusses her time and Winnipeg and the Canadian Human Rights Museum, highlighting its shortcomings in representing the genocide against Indigenous people as she recounts her one time … 12 $1.20

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The author discuss the housing crisis in Vancouver and how racism has influenced conversations of gentrification in the city. 10 $1.00

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The author discuss the impact the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report had on her thinking and the multicultural myth of Canada. 10 $1.00

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The author discusses the racism and prejudice she experienced on vacation on the east coast. 8 $0.80

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The author discusses her time visiting Fogo Island in Newfoundland, and reflects on the genocide of the Beothuk people who once lived there. 14 $1.40

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The author discusses the complexities of race, class and colonialsm through her observations of a Toronto art show. 12 $1.20

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The author reflects on her time living in Montreal with a girlfriend, and how her girlfriend’s unwillingness to confront her white privilege affected the relationship over time. 16 $1.60

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The author reflects on Canada’s multicultural myth, (some of) the efforts that have been made by activists and grassroots organizations to confront it in recent history and how she has had … 14 $1.40