Shoot! George Bowering’s novel about the Wild McLean Boys, is the inaugural choice for Okanagan Reads, a brand-new project from the Okanagan Regional Library to promote reading and literacy in the Okanagan Valley. What better choice for inaugural author than George Bowering, whose own voracious reading habits while growing up in the South Okanagan town of Lawrence were fed, alas, not by the library but by Frank’s Pool Hall?
Bowering is an Okanagan boy who went on to put his reading habit to good use as a poet, novelist, and critic. As poet he as won the Governor-General’s Award and was the inaugural (there’s that word again) Poet-Laureate for Canada. As novelist, he has written, among many other books, a trio of historical novels set in (what is right now) British Columbia: Shoot!, Caprice — both with Interior settings — and Burning Water, which is set on and off the coast. As critic and prof, he had a long and distinguished career as professor of literature at Simon Fraser University, where a generation or two of writers passed through his classes.
Okanagan Reads runs from February 1 to March 8, and features author readings, film screenings and book discussions in library branches across the Okanagan Valley. There’s more info at okanaganreads.ca.