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Nightwood Author Wins Alberta Book Award for Non-Fiction

Posted: June 10, 2008

Prodigious Nightwood author Tim Bowling has won two Alberta Literary Awards in as many years. At the Alberta Literary Awards Gala on June 7, Bowling--who lives in Edmonton--was awarded the 2008 Wilfred Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction for his lyrical memoir, The Lost Coast: Salmon, Memory and the Death of Wild Culture, an impassioned lament for the home Bowling once knew and for the river that continues to haunt his imagination. In 2007, he won the Alberta Book Award for Poetry for his seventh collection Fathom.

Bowling was a finalist for numerous other awards this year. The Lost Coast was shortlisted for two other awards, the Nereus Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize and the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize. It was also chosen as a 2008 Kiriyama Prize “Notable Book.” His 2007 novel, The Bone Sharps, was also a contender for the 2008 City of Edmonton Book Prize.

Part memoir, part environmental plea, The Lost Coast is a beautifully written account of the coastal village of the author’s upbringing. Raised in a gillnetting family, Bowling was a fisherman himself until the mid-1990s. The loss of the West Coast’s traditional resource-industry culture is felt deeply by Bowling as a betrayal of his birthright and a decimation of our heritage. What is the story behind the pioneers who built this country? What is the secret life of the killer whale and the great blue heron? And above all else, who caused, and continues to hasten, the diminishment of the Pacific salmon, one of Canada’s most totemic creatures? With a poet’s attention to details of the spirit, and a novelist’s flair for character and story, Bowling elevates his cherished homeland to the realm of enduring myth.