Congratulations to Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat, whose Soviet Princeton: Slim Evans and the 1932–33 Miners’ Strike is a finalist for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize at the BC Book Prizes!
Savvy readers will by now have realized that the Princeton in question is not the Ivy League school in New Jersey but the mining & ranching community in British Columbia, a 90 minute drive east of Hope, which during the Great Depression was the site of a violent, extended confrontation between coal miners and the town’s commercial interests. The story of that tumultuous winter, when great world-historical forces manifested in a small BC town, existed only in the murky corners of the town’s collective memory until Jon and Rika pieced it together from extensive archival research in libraries, museums, and historical societies from Victoria to Ottawa. The result is a riveting read that, in the words of one reviewer, “gives voices to the voiceless and forgotten men and women who fought, struggled, lived and died during this period.”
The BC Book Prizes winners will be announced April 30 in Victoria. In the meantime, interested parties in the Okanagan have two chances in coming weeks to hear Jon and Rika speak (and sing!) about Soviet Princeton:
On March 12th they’ll be in Keremeos at the Grist Mill & Gardens.