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Adventures in Solitude Takes Home BC Book Prize


April 25, 2011

Congratulations to Grant Lawrence, who won the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award for Adventures In Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound at the 27th Annual Lieutenant Governor’s Gala in West Vancouver on April 21. The award, which comes with a $2000 cash prize for its recipients, is awarded to the best book published in BC in the previous calendar year and is voted on by members of the BC Booksellers’ Association.

Coincidentally enough, the gala, which took place at the Kay Meek Centre, is attached to Lawrence’s alma mater, West Vancouver Secondary School. During his acceptance speech, he reminisced that while the theatre didn’t exist when he was attending the school, he thought it was located at the site of the school’s old “smoke hole.” Lawrence also thanked Harbour Publishing (that's us!)—co-recipient of the Booksellers' Choice Award—his parents, who provided him with the beginning of his memoir, and his wife, singer-songwriter Jill Barber, who happily supplied the ending.

In his book Adventures in Solitude, we meet Grant as a young boy, a self-proclaimed nerd donning knee braces and coke-bottle glasses who was reluctantly dragged each summer to a piece of land his father bought next to BC’s Desolation Sound marine park in the 1970s—just in time to encounter the gun-toting cougar lady, left-over hippies, outlaw bikers and an assortment of other characters. It was these early experiences, many alongside an influential hermit named Russell, which led Grant to a life of music and journalism far away from Desolation Sound, only to return as an adult and discover the magic and beauty the place has to offer.

Grant Lawrence is a popular voice across Canada as host of the CBC Radio 3 Podcast and Grant Lawrence Live, and through his appearances on various CBC Radio One programs such as DNTO, Spark, All Points West and On the Coast. Fans of independent music tune in to his podcast or turn up an old song from a record by The Smugglers, Grant’s defunct rock band.

The BC Book Prizes, established in 1985, celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers, awarding $19,000 in prizes each year. They are administered by members of a non-profit society who represent all facets of the publishing and writing community.

Adventures in Solitude was also shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize, making it the only title to be nominated for two BC Book Prizes this year. For more information about the BC Book Prizes, please visit their website.