November 4, 2009
Taking on the spin doctors
Writer and conservationist Sid Marty is hailed as one of Alberta’s most eloquent chroniclers of the modern west. A fourth-generation Albertan and former park warden, his books about life in the mountains and foothills have been consistent bestsellers.
Marty comes to the University of Calgary campus on Nov. 5 as this year’s Paget/Hoy lecturer. He also takes part in the panel "Representing ‘The Other’ in Creative Nonfiction," with Markin-Flanagan Canadian Writer-in-Residence Marcello Di Cintio, this afternoon at 3 p.m. in Social Sciences 1339.
“For my money, Sid's Men for the Mountains, a nonfiction account of his life as a park warden, intermingled with a history of the warden service, is the best book of prose ever written in Canada,” says Tom Wayman, an associate professor in the Department of English. “I know of no other Canadian author who can rival Sid as a story-teller.”
Marty’s Paget/Hoy lecture, entitled “The Nonfiction Writer in Alberta: Unofficial Opposition to the Kings of Spin in the Age of Apathy and Doublespeak,” takes place on Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Boris Roubakine Recital Hall, Craigie Hall C 105.
In his talk, Marty will present his take on the nonfiction writer in Alberta, whom he believes is faced with a monolithic political powerbase armed with a multimillion-dollar public relations department guarding a “no brakes” approach to development. Writers have often turned to national publication as a way of shining a light on provincial politics, he says.
Marty’s latest book, The Black Grizzly of Whiskey Creek, chronicles the true events surrounding a series of bear attacks in 1980. The book was shortlisted for the 2008 Governor General's Literary Award in Nonfiction and won both the Grand Prize and the Canadian Rockies Award at the Banff Mountain Book Festival. Last year, Marty was presented with Alberta's highest literary honour, the Grant MacEwan Literary Arts Award.
All Paget/Hoy events are free and open to the public. For more information, go to www.ucalgary.ca/humanities.