Christy Clark

Behind the Smile

By (author): Judi Tyabji
ISBN 9781772031065
Hardcover | Publication Date: May 27, 2016
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
416 Pages
$32.95 CAD

About the Book

A political insider offers a revealing perspective and examines the public and private life of BC’s controversial premier.

In the blood-sport arena of provincial politics, BC’s enigmatic premier, Christy Clark, has defied the pundits to win both party leadership and an upset election victory against all odds. Made deputy premier in 2001 shortly after her first foray into public life, she shunned Gordon Campbell’s cabinet solidarity to return to private life in 2004. After a bold run at becoming Vancouver’s mayor, she launched a successful media career as a CKNW talk show host. In 2011, she surrendered that security and entered the Liberal leadership race, shocking the party’s inner circle as she claimed her spot as Campbell’s successor. The campaigner known in her home province simply as Christy has been underestimated by many. Since her surprising usurpation of the BC Liberal Party in 2011 and their stunning re-election in 2013, BC’s first elected female premier has ruffled more than a few feathers; she has also won many new supporters while employing her own unique leadership style.

In this revealing look at the woman behind the trademark smile, political insider Judi Tyabji traces Clark’s journey from middle-class roots to her political awakening and rapid rise to power. Based on meticulous research and extensive interviews with over thirty public figures and the premier herself, Tyabji’s Christy Clark: Behind the Smile paints an intimate portrait of one of the most influential women in Canadian politics today.

About the Author(s)

Judi Tyabji was born in Calcutta, India, and immigrated to Canada with her family as a young child. In 1991, at the age of twenty-six, she became the youngest BC MLA on record at the time and the first to give birth while in office. She is the author of two previous books, Political Affairs and Daggers Unsheathed: The Political Assassination of Glen Clark. She lives in Powell River with her husband, Gordon Wilson.


"Behind the Smile is a useful a starting point for understanding the premier, both in terms of what makes her tick as well as what it might take to beat her." —Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun
"Christy Clark: Behind the Smile is a fascinatingly insightful read, with BC politics and the Liberal Party as the warp and Christy’s life as the weft. Weaving with a comprehensive and cohesive style, Judi’s thorough research gives context to the stories behind the headlines. Regardless of whether you subscribe to her ideology, you will be left with a better understanding of Christy’s voice and her position in BC politics." —April White/ Sgaana Jaad, BSc, Haida Artist
"Judi Tyabji gives us a book that British Columbians should read because they’ll get to know both their province better and the remarkable woman in Victoria who is calling the shots." —Chief Ernie Crey, Cheam First Nation
"Kudos to Judy Tyabji for creating a new and fresh window through which British Columbia and Canada can observe Christy Clark, premier of BC. Despite the chasm between my political persuasions and those Premier Clark stands by, I have always been impressed by her commitment to her son and to herself to succeed at the course she has set herself to accomplish. Standing not-very-tall, but hugely stalwart, Premier Clark is as calm and assured, clad in jeans and hard hat before mill workers, as she is in upscale garb speaking to foreign dignitaries and her own government. Judi Tyabji’s work makes the effort to show us that this 'Teflon' image is self-created and that beneath the clear-eyed charisma the Premier exudes there really is a woman whose fears, hurts, victories, and joys are safely contained, managed, and quieted so that her real work can go on. This book lays out evidence to young people everywhere, as mothers universally have always told their children: You can be anything you really want to be if you set your mind and your life in that direction! Thank you, Ms. Tyabji, for this revealing study!" —Alice Maitland, mayor of Hazelton, BC
"No one knows Christy Clark, and BC politics, better than Judi Tyabji. A must read!" —Bob Rae, former NDP premier of Ontario and former leader, Liberal Party of Canada
"Regardless of your political persuasion, this book is a fascinating look at the inside working of the political parties in BC. It follows Premier Clark’s career from her early days as a member of the Young Liberal party to her rise to the top. Ms. Tyabji does an exceptional job of following the media and its role in shaping BC politics." —Tracy Sherlock, Fraser Valley News