Dave Butler, BScF’81, has published his debut novel, Full Curl, on Dundurn Press. The book is the first in the Jenny Wilson mystery series, and tells the story of a hard-edged, caustic-witted warden from Banff National Park who considers poachers and ladder-climbing bureaucrats equally repulsive and worth of the same painful fate. When Wilson discovers animals disappearing from Canada’s mountain parks, she begins a complex investigation that follows a trail of deceit, distraction and murder. With a growing list of victims, animal and human, Wilson finds herself in a race for justice that crisscrosses the Canada-U.S. border and pushes Wilson to a place from which she might not return.
In his third collection of stories, entitled Ernest Palmer’s Dream and other stories, St. Hope Earl McKenzie, PhD’82, tours the rural Jamaican world in which he was born and raised, the island’s towns, and even ventures to Toronto, Canada. The characters we meet include young scholars who are caught up in the turbulence of cultural relativism, homophobia and madness, the nature of evil, and generational conflicts about religious beliefs. We meet a deaconess who takes in a mentally ill woman from streets, a loner who longs for riches and has a dream which changes his life, and an ageing farm worker whose goal is to get one more shot at earning some money in the United States. We are shown the impact of political violence on the life of a Rastafarian, and we meet a group of men in the country who are determined to carry out the wishes of a dead man. We even meet an angry Taino ghost. These stories are intended to entertain, disturb, and provoke thought.
Daria Ellerman, BA’87, was picture editor for a feature film directed by Mina Shum, BA’88, Dip. Film and TV Studies’90, and produced by Stephen Hegyes, BA’89, MA’95, all grads of UBC’s Film and Television Arts program. Meditation Park comes 23 years after Shum’s breakthrough success with Double Happiness starring Sandra Oh, who returns for a role in the new movie.
Anita Miettunen, BSc’87, MSc’99 (Nottingham Trent University, UK), previously worked in environmental regulatory science for the federal government, and was primarily based in Gatineau, QC, and Ottawa, ON. She now works as a program coordinator at UBC for the Liber Ero Fellowship Program, which supports early‑career applied conservation research scientists across Canada. Miettunen is an active writer and illustrator and recently published her first children’s book, Big Blue Forever (Red Deer Press, 2017). Her book was inspired by the true story of how Canada’s largest blue whale skeleton, buried for more than 20 years in PEI, eventually became a magnificent display at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum in Vancouver. Her book also includes facts about the blue whale and information about threats to this endangered species. Drawn to children’s literature, Miettunen is also enrolled in the MA in Children’s Literature program at UBC.
Vic Cavalli, MA’88, has been teaching English at university level since 1988 and creative writing since 2001. His debut novel, The Road to Vermilion Lake (Harvard Square Editions), was released this year. Cavalli is especially grateful for UBC Professor Tom Blom’s encouraging support during his formative stages as a writer, and for Professor Patricia Merivale’s outstanding teaching, which opened his horizons for modern fiction.