Lawrence Hill, the best-selling author of The Book of Negroes is speaking in Whistler on Saturday, May 8 at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre.
Hill will read from and discuss the book, a historical saga that chronicles a heroine's fight to win her freedom after being sold into slavery as a young child.
The real Book of Negroes is a 150-page ledger created by the Royal British Navy, documenting biographical information on the 3,000 African Americans who fled slavery to serve the British during the American Revolution. After the British lost the war in 1783, they sent those Black Loyalists to Nova Scotia.
Hill's Book of Negroes has sold more than 300,000 copies in Canada and was named one of the top 10 Canadian books of the decade by Maclean's, Quill and Quire and NOW magazine. It has been optioned for a movie and has won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, the Rogers Writers Trust Award in 2008 and CBC's annual Canada Reads debate in 2009.
The 54-year-old Hill became a writer at the age of six when, in a bid to convince his father to let him have a kitten, he wrote a letter arguing his case.
"I wanted that cat. Had to have it. So I poured my heart and soul onto that page. He let me have the cat. And from that point on, every time I wanted something else from my father, he made me write another letter for it. And this is how I became a writer."
Hill is the latest in a line of leading Canadian authors brought to Whistler by the Whistler Writers Group, a.k.a. the Vicious Circle. The list includes Joseph Boyden, Annabel Lyon and Stephen Galloway.
Tickets to the event are $20 and are available at www.theviciouscircle.ca.
Canadian Tire Money may fund arts
The Whistler Arts Council has found a creative way to work around some of the recent budget cuts they've been experiencing; they're collecting Canadian Tire Money to help pay for art supplies for the Whistler Children's Festival.
WAC is asking people to donate their Canadian Tire Money to help purchase essential supplies and make the 27th annual festival a success. The arts council and festival are facing substantial funding cuts from the provincial and federal government.
The arts council is also looking for volunteers to help with every aspect of the event: workshop assistants, registration, greenroom hospitality, set up/tear down, pre-event administration and operations crew.
For more information on how to donate or volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-935-8232.