A fascinating conversation called ‘What’s Happening in the Woods’ is scheduled for Monday, September 26 at 7:30pm in the Williams Lake library. Two well-known authors, Andres Nikiforuk, author of ‘Empire of the Beetle’ and Charlotte Gill, author of ‘Eating Dirt’ will be on site to talk about a range of topics that stretch from the social dynamic of tree planters to the biological workings of bark beetles. The conversation is geared to help participants discover the intricate balance of forces within our forests.
Charlotte Gill spent twenty years working as a tree planter in the forests of Canada. During her million-tree career, she encountered hundreds of clearcuts, each one a collision site between human civilization and the natural world, a complicated landscape presenting geographic evidence of our appetites. Charged with sowing the new forest in these clear-cuts, tree planters are a tribe caught between the stumps and the virgin timber, between environmentalists and loggers.
(Photo: Author Charlotte Gill)
In ‘Eating Dirt’, Gill offers up a slice of tree-planting life in all of its soggy, gritty exuberance, while questioning the ability of conifer plantations to replace original forests that evolved over millennia into complex ecosystems. She looks at logging’s environmental impact and its boom-and-bust history, and touches on the versatility of wood, from which we have devised countless creations as diverse as textiles and airplane parts.
She is also the author of the story collection ‘Ladykiller’, a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and winner of the Danuta Gleed Award and the B.C. Book Prize for fiction. Her work has appeared in ‘Best Canadian Stories’, ‘The Journey Prize Stories’, and many Canadian magazines and has been broadcast on CBC Radio. Her narrative nonfiction has been nominated for Western and National Magazine Awards. Gill spent nearly two decades working in the forests of Canada and has planted more than a million trees.
Author Andrew Nikiforuk (shown left) draws on first-hand accounts from entomologists, botanists, foresters, and rural residents to investigate this unprecedented beetle plague, its startling implications, and the lessons it holds. Written in an accessible way, ‘Empire of the Beetle’ is the only book on the bark beetle epidemic that is devastating the North American West.
He is an award-winning Canadian journalist who has written about education, economics, and the environment for the past two decades. His books include ‘Pandemonium’, ‘Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig’s War against Oil’, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, and ‘The Fourth Horseman: A Short History of Plagues, Scourges and Emerging Viruses.’ His book ‘Tar Sands’ won the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award and became a national bestseller. He lives in Calgary, Alberta.
Books will be available for purchase and the authors will be available for book signings following the event next Monday, September 26 7:30pm at the Williams Lake Branch Library.
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