Recent News

Writer in Residence at Whistler, Sept-Oct 2022

Photo of cabin at Alta Lake in Whistler

September saw me and faithful dog Augie driving the Sea to Sky Highway for a two-month stint as Whistler’s Writer in Residence. I was given a small, quiet cabin on the south side of Alta Lake. I’d wake at 5 am and take a cup of coffee to the dock (only meeting the occasional bear), write all morning, then meet with six thoughtful and engaged writers – some working in fiction, some memoir.

Photo of Alta Lake, Whistler, with Shaena Lambert's dog Augie in the foreground

In October was the Whistler Writers’ Festival, organized by volunteers and overseen by Artistic Director Rebecca Wood Barnett. Taking over from Stella Harvey, whose work was honoured at the Fest. Thanks so much to Rebecca, Stella and to Stephen Vogler, who runs the Point Artists Centre, which supports the annual WIR program.

Canoe on shore at Alta Lake, Whistler

In the thick of this residency, I managed to write 60,000 words of my new novel.

Shaena Lambert's slippers
Shaena Lambert's dog, Augie

Writer in Residence at Whistler, Sept-Oct 20222023-05-21T07:21:51-07:00

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize Winner

Promotional image for PETRA's 2021 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize win

Thrilled and delighted to have PETRA win 2021’s Ethel Wilson Award for best work of fiction in BC and the Yukon. What an honour to be among talented writers Michelle Good, Aislinn Hunter, Susan Sandford Blades and Annabel Lyon, nominated with me. I read all their brilliant works over the summer and felt touched and excited to be in their company. When I won, our family was at the hospital with my mother, author Barbara Lambert, and she and I zoomed to the gala together from her hospital bed, while my husband, Bob, poured us Chablis and my daughter and aunt celebrated with us. I dedicated the prize to my mother, author and brilliant example, whose fascinating new novella Wanda, she actually wrote as she struggled with cancer—and published! She is my example and inspiration.

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize Winner2021-10-06T14:56:23-07:00

The battle to save the ancient trees of Fairy Creek

Here is an article I wrote for The National Observer on Fairy Creek. This eyewitness account of police violence was used by the Rainforest Flying Squad in the affidavit that went to Judge Thompson – who, as so many of you know, recently removed the injunction imposed on protesters who are working to save the old growth trees of Fairy Creek. This BC Supreme Court judge lifted the injunction because of the unwarranted brutality and over-reach of the RCMP, which he said was bringing the courts into disrepute. I am very proud that this article formed a written part of the evidence that led to this landmark decision. The trees are safer – at least for now – and the brave and passionate protesters have had a sizeable win in their yearlong-plus battle to save one of the world’s magical remaining ancient forests.

And here is an article on a tiny, rare lichen that has an outsized political footprint in the Fairy Creek battle.

The battle to save the ancient trees of Fairy Creek2021-10-06T13:52:12-07:00

Petra on Independent Booksellers’ Bestsellers List

Petra has hit the Independent Booksellers’ Bestsellers List! Thank you so much, bookstores and booksellers, for getting behind Petra so enthusiastically. Thanks especially to Book Warehouse, Marnie’s Books, 32 Books and Gallery, Pulp Fiction, Hager’s Books, Munro’s, Another Story Books, Vancouver’s beautiful new Upstart & Crow – and so many others! And thank you so much, readers!

Image of Window display at 32 Books and Gallery, with Petra on display
Window display, 32 Books and Gallery
Petra on Independent Booksellers’ Bestsellers List2021-05-05T06:23:00-07:00

Some recent media features

North by Northwest, with Sheryl MacKay: October 18th, 8:30 AM. I was so delighted to have this conversation with Sheryl MacKay about Petra Kelly, her general-for-peace lover, and the novel writing process.

Maclean’s Magazine: Three Governor General’s winners – two for fiction and one for non-fiction – chose Petra as a book to read during the pandemic!

Globe & Mail: A probing Question and Answer with arts journalist Emily Donaldson.

Toronto Star: A personal piece I wrote for the Toronto Star about meeting Petra Kelly and the seeds for my novel.

The National Observer (syndicated online in The Star): An interview with Rochelle Baker.

Pickle Me This: Novelist, book reviewer and blogger Kerry Clare explores the emotional landscape of Petra and how fiction veers from biography.

Some recent media features2021-05-05T06:07:52-07:00

Canadian activists comment on Petra

Two Canadian activist leaders and feminists, Judy Rebick and Tzeporah Berman, have weighed in on Petra:

“I loved Petra… set in a modern social movement reflecting both the excitement and dysfunction. Petra is the story of a powerful woman leader of the Greens in Germany. A wonderful portrait of a woman leader caught in the contradictions of our generation of women.” —Judy Rebick, author, feminist, activist

“Petra is a captivating book about passion and purpose. Shaena Lambert manages to both capture the complexity and vision of Petra Kelly while digging deep into the history and politics of the green movement. I couldn’t put it down!” —Tzeporah Berman, Canadian environmental leader

Canadian activists comment on Petra2021-05-05T04:52:55-07:00