Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 6:30 - 7:30pm
Vancouver Island Library’s Harbourfront Branch
Saturday, March 10, 2018 6:30-7:30pm
White Room, downtown Nanaimo
Live music by Vinya Zyakin, and refreshments.
“This story is told from the perspective of residing on the islands, not from the perspective of the tourist. The characters in the novel are real, or composites of real people. The scenes are real, the timing is real, the life is real.”- Al Cool, Author.
The Haida Gwaii Detour is the story of an eager, young hand logger surrounded by an unlikely community in the heart of West Coast wilderness. Detailing a wild ride through life in and around Haida Gwaii between 1979 and 1985, this travel memoir is based on real-life events and packed with a colourful cast of characters. This story is told through the eyes of both a narrator and the protagonist named Ethan, who has escaped the concrete jungle of Vancouver in the hopes of earning enough money for Journalism school tuition.
It is tourist fare to wander among the remains of structures and totems after kayaking to ancient Haida settlements, but only a fortunate few ever get to go west to do something meaningful; to work, to earn, to harvest. To live. Ethan felt privileged, that he was one of the luckiest men alive on that day, because he was going to work with the land, rather than destroy it. – excerpt from the novel
Today, Haida Gwaii draws mainly global tourists to its rocky shores, serene forests, and Haida culture each year. Currently facing a decreasing availability of forestry jobs, and tensions between the BC Government (BC Timber Sales) and the Haida Nation, Haida Gwaii is still much the same now as it was back in 1985. Detour will take readers back through time, to show the promise of the land and the potential adventure it still holds.
“This story is told from the perspective of residing on the islands, not from the perspective of the tourist. The characters in the novel are real, or composites of real people. The scenes are real, the timing is real, the life is real.” –Al Cool, author.
About the Author
Prolific writer Al Cool has won first and third place awards in short story contests, has published stories in Toronto’s Danforth Review and New York’s The Otter e-zines, has contributed to three Canadian anthologies, and is the author of five published West Coast novels. He majored in English at Simon Fraser University and completed a Masters equivalent in Creative Writing with Sam Hiyate at THE RIGHTS FACTORY (2016).
As an environmentalist, Al uses his writing as a way to educate the public on key issues in Canada. “I often write about the environment and I deplore Canada’s involvement in the nuclear energy lie, having worked in a Uranium mining camp.” (inspiration for the Hottest Place on Earth.) “I think that while people are basically good, absolute power corrupts. People have to push back and writers should be part of the vanguard leading the way.”
A long time Vancouver Islander, Al has had many professions and accomplishments: Author; Logger; Mountaineer; Boxer; Programmer and Systems Analyst; Teacher; and an Environmentalist. Through these uniquely Canadian tales, Al brings to life the raw and bold characters living where Canada’s mountains meet Earth’s greatest ocean.
For more information visit https://www.alcoolbc.ink/