Writing the West Coast: In Love with Place

Writing the West Coast: In Love with Place

Writing the West Coast

In Love with Place

by Christine Lowther and Anita Sinner


  • Spring 2008
  • ISBN 978-1-55380-055-2 (1-55380-055-9)
  • 6″ x 9″ Trade Paperback, 272 pages
  • Local Interest, West Coast

This collection of over thirty essays by both well-known and emerging writers explores what it means to “be at home” on Canada’s West Coast. Here the rainforest and the wild, stormy cost dominate one’s sense of identity, a humbling perspective shared in memoirs by individuals who come to see themselves as part of a larger ecological community.

Alexandra Morton followed the orcas to the Broughton Archipelago and now fights to protect wild salmon from the impact of fish farms. Grandmother-activist Betty Krawczyk describes living in a remote A-frame under mountains that have been clearcut, and how this led her to join the blockades. Valerie Langer tells us of a tsunami warning, one that is both literal and metaphorical. Brian Brett reflects on possible futures for Clayoquot Sound, thinking back to the wild times he spent there in the sixties.

The collection includes a number of brightly satiric commentators like Briony Penn, who compares sex in the city to love in the temperate rainforest, Andrew Struthers, who recalls squatting in a home-made pyramid in the bush, and Susan Musgrave, who writes with affection and humour about the “excluded” Haida Gwaii. Young First Nations writers Eli Enns and Nadine Crookes provide their perspective of deep rootedness in place. And there are many more contributors, all of whom are engaged in finding purpose along with a sense of belonging that is uniquely West Coast.

“Here is an intimate look into life on the farthest West Coast of Canada among those, who in their various ways, are filled with passion for its waterways, its forests, its wildlife, even its weather. I found Writing the West Coast fascinating.”
— Sharon Butala


“an evocative collection of stories that demands an intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual awareness of the environment in which we live.”
Canadian Literature

“The perfect book to read if you’re trying to rekindle the romance with British Columbia. . . . there’s something for every west coaster or west coast admirer in this eclectic mix.”
The Tyee

“A marvellous collection of 33 essays by top writers covering the full spectrum of the delights of the Canadian West Coast.”
Lower Island News