In the dog days of summer, the crew at New Star Books began to put together the first of what we hope are many events in regard to the celebration of Mudflat Dreaming: Waterfront Battles and the Squatters Who Fought Them in 1970s Vancouver, a book, in many ways, decades in the making, which tells the story of two communities on Vancouver’s waterfront fringes in the 1970s. So, now, as we enter into the busy month of October, we are pleased to announce with great excitement our partnership with two fantastic organizations who are helping launch Jean Walton’s exciting new book. The Wild Bird Trust of BC will present Jean Walton in conversation on Saturday, October 13th, from 1–3pm. The event is free and takes place at Corrigan Nature House, Maplewood Flats 2649 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver on the Unceded Tsleil-Waututh Territory.
The event will guarantee a lively in discussion and general vibe, with refreshments to enjoy (complimentary) and books available for purchase. Don’t forget to get yours signed by the author. The event will begin with remarks by Irwin Ostindie, President, Wild Bird Trust of BC which operates Maplewood Flats. An optional walk to view the Flats and Coast Salish Artwork by Ocean Hyland will also take place following the talk.
For those on Vancouver Island, earlier in the week on Thursday, October 11th, Courtenay and District Museum will be hosting a lecture by Jean Walton on her experience growing up near these communities and what went into completing her book. The event is $5 for Historical Society members, $6 for non-members (plus GST). The museum recommends purchasing your tickets in advance. Books will be on sale at the museum gift shop.
As a teenager, Jean Walton lived just up the hill from Bridgeview, but it was only much later that the author learned about the struggle embroiling her near neighbours, as well as its connection to the Maplewood Mudflat squatter community ––– not to mention Malcolm Lowry and Habitat 76. “Originally, I just wanted to write something set in the time and place where I came of age, in the seventies in the vicinity of Vancouver- partly because I loved the idea of combining family visits with research for a creative project.”
Jean Walton found her way, creatively into these stories is through a few documentary films made at the time about Bridgeview and Maplewood, as well as Robert Altman’s breakthrough feature film, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, shot just a few miles up the mountainside from the Maplewood Mudflats.
Alexander Vasudevan, author of The Autonomous City, calls Mudflat Dreaming “a wonderfully evocative account of the varied ways in which an alternative Vancouver was imagined, constructed and lived by its residents in the 1970s.”
Mudflat Dreaming is the perfect Christmas gift. And no it’s not too late to be thinking about holiday shopping! For more information on these events, please visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.