Francis J. Chow

Francis J. Chow – Editor

Over 30 years of experience copy editing and proofreading books in natural history, life sciences, history, law, geography, and more


For over 30 years I have provided editing, writing, and typesetting services to educational institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and book publishers. I have worked on manuals, reports, training programs, online materials, and especially books published by the University of British Columbia Press (UBC Press) (Vancouver), Columbia University Press (New York), and the University of Manitoba Press (Winnipeg).

Honours awarded to books I have copy edited include the CLSA Book Prize (Canadian Law and Society Association); Donner Prize for best book on Canadian public policy (the Donner Foundation); Lavina L. Dock Award (American Association for the History of Nursing); John Wesley Dafoe Book Prize (Dafoe Foundation); Clio-North Prize (Canadian Historical Association); Clio Prize for the Prairies (Canadian Historical Association); and the Joseph Levenson Pre-1900 Book Prize (for China studies) (Association for Asian Studies).

Feedback from authors:

"This is the best job of copy-editing I have ever seen! Very impressive and much appreciated. We are in your debt."

"I can't say enough how much better it is after you looked at it. I really appreciate all your careful work."

"I am very happy with what you have done. Thus far you have obviously made the text more fluid."

"I have enormous confidence in you, going far beyond simple editing of copy."

"I appreciate your careful attention."

" I can't properly express my gratitude for the copy editor's eye for detail."

"Francis Chow did a remarkable job of editing and saved me from many infelicities."

"One of the reasons it's a beautiful book, of course, is the editing skills on every page that no reader will see but every reader will appreciate. I just wanted to tell you again how much I enjoyed working with (and learning from!) you on this project. You made our sometimes fuzzy writing clear and crisp ... what more could authors ask?"
Biographies & Memoirs Earth, Space, & Environmental Sciences Geography History Humanities & Social Sciences Law Life Sciences Nature
English (CAN) English (US)

Work experience


Sep, 1987 — Present

Editing and writing (including technical editing and writing), course design, and typesetting of manuals, reports, training programs, and books for educational institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and book publishers, as well as for individuals.


Newfoundland was the only British colony in North America to strike gold coins for general circulation. This was remarkable given that it was one of the poorest British possessions in North America and with an economy largely based on the barter system. This b... read more
During the first two decades of this century, Sir William Mackenzie was one of Canada’s best-known entrepreneurs. He spearheaded some of the largest and most technologically advanced projects undertaken in Canada during his lifetime--building enterprises that ... read more
As the nineteenth century ended, the popularity of sport hunting grew and Ontario wildlife became increasingly valuable. Restrictions were imposed on hunting and trapping, completely ignoring Anishinaabeg hunting rights set out in the Robinson Treaties of 1850... read more
Do Canada and the United States share a special relationship, or is this just a face-saving myth? The Politics of Linkage cuts through the rhetoric that clouds this debate by offering detailed accounts of four major bilateral disputes. It shows that the United... read more
This landmark book dispels the idea that the period between the Second World War and the unification of the armed services in 1968 constituted the Canadian Army's "golden age." Drawing on recently declassified documents, Peter Kasurak depicts an era clouded by... read more
In December 1941, Japan attacked multiple targets in the Far Eastand the Pacific, including Hong Kong, where Canadian battalions werestationed. The disaster suggested that the Allies were totallyunprepared for war with Japan. This book dispels that assumption ... read more
Fifteen thousand Canadians were captured during Canada’s twientieth-century wars. They experienced the bewilderment that accompanied the moment of capture, the humiliation of being completely in the captor’s power, and the sense of stagnating in a backwater wh... read more
Unwanted Warriors uncovers the history of Canada's first casualties of the Great War – men who tried to enlist but were deemed "unfit for service." What impact did military exclusion have on these men? Nic Clarke looks for answers in the service files of 3,400... read more
Invisible Scars provides the first extended exploration of Commonwealth Division psychiatry during the Korean War and the psychiatric-care systems in place for the thousands of soldiers who fought in that conflict. Fitzpatrick demonstrates that although Common... read more
Over a century, the Canadian prairies went from being the breadbasket of the world to a grain-growing region in a vast, global agri-food system. Magnan traces the causes and consequences of this evolution, from the first transatlantic shipments of wheat to the... read more
The town of Ladysmith was one of the most important coal-mining communities on Vancouver Island during the early twentieth century. The Ladysmith miners had a reputation for radicalism and militancy and engaged in bitter struggles for union recognition and eco... read more
In April 1988, after years of failed negotiations over the status of the Northwest Passage, Brian Mulroney gave Ronald Reagan a globe, pointed to the Arctic, and said "Ron that's ours. We own it lock, stock, and icebergs." A simple statement, it summed up Otta... read more
The Sino-Japanese War (1937–45) had a devastating impact on China's population. Braving bandits and disease, the China Convoy – a Quaker-sponsored humanitarian unit – provided medical relief in the unoccupied territory of "Free China." China Gadabouts examines... read more
Nothing to Write Home About uncovers the significance of British family correspondence sent between the United Kingdom and British Columbia between 1858 and 1914. Drawing on thousands of letters, Laura Ishiguro offers insights into epistolary topics including ... read more
Biologists have long marvelled at how anadromous salmonids – fish that pass from rivers into oceans and back again – survive as they migrate between these two very different environments. Yet, relatively little is understood about what happens to salmonids in ... read more
The vast temperate rainforests of coastal British Columbia are world renowned, but much less is known about the other rainforest located 500 kilometres inland along the western slopes of the interior mountains. The unique region favors the development of lush ... read more
Butterflies of British Columbia provides butterfly watchers, naturalists, and the professional biologist with an overview of the fascinating butterfly fauna of British Columbia and adjacent areas. It covers 216 species, about one-third of the resident, breedin... read more
Birds are among the most successful vertebrates on Earth. An important part of our natural environment and deeply embedded in our culture, birds are studied by more professional ornithologists and enjoyed by more amateur enthusiasts than ever before. However, ... read more
The rugged physical beauty of the west coast of Vancouver Island has long been a major attraction, but its distinctive avian population has also made it a major bird-watching destination. The Birds of Vancouver Island's West Coast presents accounts of all of t... read more
The vast literature on the history of birds is continually growing, but rarely has this information been compiled so that it is readily available in one reference work.Birds of Ontariois such a work, providing a comprehensive summary of the life history requir... read more
Birds of the Yukon Territory provides unprecedented coverage of the bird species of the Yukon. Lavishly illustrated with more than 400 color photographs and 223 hand-drawn bird illustrations, the book presents a wealth of information on bird distribution, migr... read more
The Birds of British Columbia, Volume 4 completes one of the most important regional ornithological works in North America. It covers the last half of the passerines and contains 102 species, including the little-known and elusive warblers, sparrows, grosbeaks... read more
The five British and Canadian generals depicted in Corps Commanders were a surprisingly eclectic lot - one a consummate actor, one a quiet gentleman, one a master bureaucrat, one a brainy sort with little will, and the last a brain with will to spare. And yet ... read more
How did American schoolchildren, French philosophers, Russian Sinologists, Dutch merchants, and British lawyers imagine China and Chinese law? What happened when agents of presumably dominant Western empires had to endure the humiliations and anxieties of main... read more
Both lionized and vilified, Claire L'Heureux-Dubé has shaped the Canadian legal landscape – and in particular its highest court. Only the second woman on the Supreme Court of Canada, L'Heureux-Dubé anchored her approach to cases in their social, economic, and ... read more
Approaching the legal profession through the lens of cultural history, Wes Pue explores the social roles that lawyers imagined for themselves in England and its empire from the late-eighteenth to the early twentieth century. Each chapter focuses on a moment wh... read more
Nunavut is a land of islands, encompassing some of the most remote places on Earth. It is also home to some of the world's most fascinating bird species. Birds of Nunavut is the first complete survey of every species known to occur in the territory. Cowritten ... read more
Tsilhqút’ín, also known as Chilcotin, is a northern Athabaskan language spoken by the people of the Chilco River (Tsilhqóx) in Interior British Columbia. Until now, the literature on Tsilhqút’ín contained very little description of the language. With forty-sev... read more
A two-edged sword of reconciliation and betrayal, Chinook Jargon (aka Wawa) arose at the interface of "Indian" and "White" societies in the Pacific Northwest. Wawa's sources lie first in the language of the Chinookans who lived along the lower Columbia River, ... read more
Collected in this book are the personal life histories of four female St’at’imc elders: Beverley Frank, Gertrude Ned, Laura Thevarge, and Rose Agnes Whitley. These elders are among the last remaining fluent speakers of St’at’imcets, a severely imperilled North... read more
Here is the long-awaited grammar of the Musqueam dialect of Halkomelem, which Wayne Suttles began work on in the late 1950s. The Musqueam people's aboriginal territory includes much of the Fraser Delta and the city of Vancouver. Halkomelem is one of the twenty... read more
Presents a complete descriptive grammar of Lillooet, an indigenous Canadian language spoken in British Columbia. Uses the classical structuralist method to give a detailed analysis of the three major aspects of the language sound system, word structure, and sy... read more
For many Filipinos, one word – kumusta, how are you – is all it takes to forge a connection with a stranger anywhere in the world. In Canada’s prairie provinces, this connection has inspired community building and created both national and transnational identi... read more
Over the last ten years there has been intensive field research in archaeology and paleo-geography in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), primarily by agencies such as Parks Canada, but also by consultantas and other independent researchers. Members of the ... read more
Place names convey a people's relationship to the land, their sense of place. For indigenous peoples, place names can also be central to the revival of endangered languages. This book takes readers on a voyage into the history, language, and culture of the Noo... read more
Planning Canadian Regions was the first book to integrate the history, contemporary practice, and emergent issues of regional planning in Canada. This much-anticipated second edition brings the discussion up to date, applying the same thorough analysis to illu... read more
Manitoba is more than one of Canada's three prairie provinces. Encompassing 649,950 square kilometres, its territory ranges from Canadian Shield to grassland, parkland, and subarctic tundra. Its physical geography has been shaped by ice-age glaciers, while its... read more
Sporting Gender is the first book to explore the rise to fame of female athletes in China in the early twentieth century. Gao shows how these women coped with the conflicting demands of nationalist causes, unwanted male attention, and modern fame, arguing that... read more
Remembering the Samsui Women tells the story of women from the Samsui area of Guangdong, China, who migrated to Singapore during a period of economic and natural calamities, leaving their families behind. In their new country, many found work in the constructi... read more
In late 1995, the drama Heaven Above (Cangtian zaishang) debuted on Chinese TV. The series featured a villainous high-ranked government official and was the first of the wildly popular corruption dramas that have riveted the nation ever since. Staging Corrupti... read more
China shares borders and asserts vast maritime claims with over a dozen countries, and it has had boundary disputes with nearly all of them. Yet in the 1960s, while China was embroiled in a growing confrontation with the Soviet Union, India, and the United Sta... read more
Merry Laughter and Angry Curses reveals how the late-Qing-era tabloid press became the voice of the people. This book shows the tabloid community to be both a producer of meanings and a participant in the social and cultural dialogue that would shake the found... read more
Keeping the Nation’s House unsettles the assumption that home economics training lies far from the seats of power by revealing how elite Chinese women helped to build modern China one family at a time. Trained between the 1920s and the early 1950s, home econom... read more
A firm grounding in economics is integral to sound forestry policies and practices. This book, a major revision and expansion of Peter H. Pearse’s 1990 classic, is an essential book for forestry students and professionals. Updated and enhanced with advanced em... read more
Everyday exposures to common chemicals found in homes, schools, and workplaces are having devastating long-term and inter-generational consequences on human health. At the same time, the risks associated with these exposures (and the burdens of managing them) ... read more
Canadians are getting sick from toxins in the air, food, water, and consumer products. In Cleaner, Greener, Healthier, David R. Boyd sets out to remedy Canada's environmental health problems. He begins by assessing the environmental burden of disease, identifi... read more
Under the emerging void-for-vagueness doctrine, a law lacking precision can be declared invalid. In this, the first book published on the subject, Marc Ribeiro offers a balanced analysis of this doctrine and its application in the context of the Canadian const... read more
Canada's Supreme Court decides cases with far-reaching effects on Canadian politics and public policies. When the Supreme Court sets cases on its agenda, it exercises nearly unrestrained discretion and considerable public authority. But how does the Court choo... read more
The New Lawyer, Second Edition, analyzes the profound impact changes in client needs and demands are having on how law is practised. Most legal clients are unwilling or unable to pay for protracted litigation and count on their lawyers to pursue just and exped... read more
Whatever deficits remain in the Canadian project to make justice available to all, class actions have been heralded as a success. They have been employed over the past twenty-five years to overcome barriers to justice for those who would otherwise have no reco... read more
Scholars often accept without question that Canada's Indian Act (1876) criminalized First Nations. In this illuminating book, Shelley Gavigan argues that the notion of criminalization captures neither the complexities of Aboriginal participation in the courts ... read more
Unjust by Design describes a system in need of major restructuring. Written by a respected critic, it presents a modern theory of administrative justice fit for that purpose. It also provides detailed blueprints for the changes the author believes would be nec... read more
First signed in 1886, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works is still the cornerstone of international copyright law. In this groundbreaking book, Sara Bannerman examines Canada’s struggle for copyright sovereignty and explores ... read more
Few moments in Canadian history are as intriguing as the political battle between Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the "Gang of Eight" provincial premiers who opposed his plans to "patriate" Canada's constitution from Britain. Patriation and Its Consequences ... read more