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.
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.
So honoured to have Petra nominated for the BC and Yukon Book Prize’s Ethel Wilson Award. I am thrilled to be on this list with the talented novelists Michelle Good, Annabel Lyon, Aislinn Hunter and Susan Sanford Blades. I’m very excited to dive into all of these new novels! Awards gala to announce the winner is in September.
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!
As it Happens! This half-hour feature interview with iconic broadcaster Carol Offaired in late October. Carol led the conversation in so many interesting directions – including the intersection of the personal and the political, the charisma of Kelly, the birth pains of Green politics – and which works better for politics: multicoloured webs, or strategic boxes! The Petra interview starts at minute 49.
The Next Chapter (national), Shelagh Rogers: An in-depth discussion of the themes and story behind my new novel, Petra, with Shelagh Rogers, on The Next Chapter, CBC Radio. Aired 4 PM Saturday, October 24th, and 1 PM Monday, October 26th, 1 PM. Listen to this clip here.
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!
Island Launch: Big thanks to Karen Mahon Carrington, Robert MacLeod Carrington, Marnie’s Books, and others on Cortes Island, who organized my Island Launch (socially isolating, and completely wonderful). Please lie back on a blanket, in one of our blanket pods, and enjoy the entertainment as the sun sets – see video below! Poetry courtesy of Erin Robinson, music by Lucy Lambert and Rick Bockner, and a reading from Petra, plus on-stage interview about the novel, moderated by Karen Mahon Carrington.
Munro’s Books, October 13th, 2020. Three BC writers of historical fiction talk shop about their new novels. This was such a fabulous event! A Zoom show and share, using photographs to illustrate our research process! Then a conversation led by acclaimed novelist, Claire Mulligan. Featuring Dede Crane, author of the newly released One Madder Woman, the story of the brilliant impressionist painter Berthe Morisot – a woman who changed our relationship to light, shadow, figure and movement in painting, but whose name is far less known than her contemporaries, Degas and Manet, both of whom owe much to her innovations. And Caroline Adderson – the author, most recently, of A Russian Sister, which brilliantly tells the story of Masha Chekhov, the famous writer’s sister – whose watchful eye sees deeper into her brother than he can see into himself. I talk about my earliest drafts of Petra, how wolves haunted my drafts, and a single image that got under my skin for years.
Ottawa Writers Festival Podcast – Confronting History: Some think of history as something distinct from the here and now, but for bettor or worse, history is always with us. Clearly, some history needs to be confronted if we are ever going to learn from it. This episode features Francesca Ekwuyasi in conversation with Catherine Hernandez and Shaena Lambert in conversation with Peter Schneider.