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Celtic Lightning to strike bookstores in September

 With Celtic Lightning, best-selling author Ken McGoogan plunges into the perpetual debate about Canadian roots and identity: who do we think we are? He argues that Canadians have never investigated the demographic reality that informs this book -- the fact that more than nine million Canadians claim Scottish or Irish heritage. Did the ancestors of more than one quarter of our population arrive without cultural baggage? No history, no values, no vision? Impossible.
 McGoogan writes that, to understand who we are and where we are going, Canadians must look to cultural genealogy. He builds on the work of Richard Dawkins, who contends that ideas and values (“memes”) can be transmitted from one generation to another. Scottish and Irish immigrants arrived in Canada with values they had learned from their forebears. And they did so early enough, and in sufficient numbers, to shape an emerging Canadian nation. . . .

About the author:
          Ken McGoogan has published a dozen books, among them How the Scots Invented Canada, Fatal Passage, and Lady Franklin’s Revenge. His honours include the Pierre Berton Award, the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography, the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize, and the Canadian Authors’ Association History Award.  Ken has crisscrossed Ireland and Scotland numerous times, and also circumnavigated both countries.

Publisher: HarperCollins Canada / Patrick Crean Editions
Media & events:
Publication rights: Beverley Slopen Literary Agency /

Ken McGoogan
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Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.