Vernon-raised author David Pitt-Brooke has been shortlisted for a 2017 B.C. Book Prize for his latest work, which was inspired by walks he took, in part, around the Okanagan.
Crossing Home Ground: A Grassland Odyssey through Southern Interior British Columbia (Harbour Publishing) has been shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize, awarded to an author whose book contributes the most to the enjoyment and understanding of B.C.
Like the famed Scottish-American naturalist/writer John Muir before him, David Pitt-Brooke stepped out for a walk one morning – a long walk that took him more than 1,000 kilometres through the arid valleys of the southern B.C. Interior
Besides his hometown of Vernon, Pitt-Brooke walked through the cities of Kelowna, Penticton, Kamloops and Williams Lake.
“He went in search of beauty and lost grace in a landscape that has seen decades of development and upheaval,” states a release.
“In Crossing Home Ground, he reports back, providing a day-by-day account of his journey’s experiences, from the practical challenges – dealing with blisters, rain and dehydration—to sublime moments of discovery and re-connection with the natural world.”
Pitt-Brooke, whose family is still based in Vernon, is a retired veterinarian, naturalist and the author of Chasing Clayoquot: A Wilderness Almanac (Raincoast Books, 2004, Greystone Books, 2010). He was hailed by The Globe and Mail as “a Thoreau for Clayoquot.”
His writing focuses on topics related to science, natural history and the environment.
Also shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize are Neil J. Sterritt’s Mapping My Way Home: A Gitxsan History (Creekstone Press), Christopher Pollon and Ben Nelms’ The Peace in Peril: The Real Cost of the Site C Dam (Harbour Publishing), Michael Layland’s A Perfect Eden: Encounters by Early Explorers of Vancouver Island (TouchWood Editions) and Anthony Kenyon’s The Recorded History of the Liard Basin 1790-1910: Where British Columbia joins the Yukon and N.W.T. (Fort Nelson News).
In addition, former Armstrong resident Margriet Ruurs, has been shortlisted for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize for her book, Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey (Orca Book Publishers), illustrated by Nizar Ali Badr. The book tells of Syrian refugees’ journey via stone art created by Ali Badr, who is from Syria.
B.C. Book Prizes are awarded annually in seven categories, with the intent to celebrate the best writing and publishing in the province. The awards carry a cash prize of $2,000. The winners will be announced at an awards gala in Vancouver April 29.