The award-winning author of a dozen books, Ken McGoogan surfaces with Celtic Lightning in September, 2015. The book plunges into the perpetual debate about Canadian roots and identity: who do we think we are? Ken argues that Canadians have wrongly neglected "cultural genealogy," and has great fun showing why the crucial figures of Scottish and Irish history -- heroes, rebels, poets, inventors, explorers, pirate queens -- belong equally to Canada and Canadian history. Ken's recent books include How the Scots Invented Canada and 50 Canadians Who Changed the World. He has also published four nonfiction narratives about Arctic exploration, among them Fatal Passage and Lady Franklin’s Revenge. These works won the Writers’ Trust of Canada Biography Prize, the Canadian Authors’ Association History Award, the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography, the Pierre Berton Award for Popular History, and an American Christopher Award for “a work of artistic excellence.” Celtic Lightning is published by Patrick Crean Editions / HarperCollins Canada.
In recent years, Ken has given talks and presentations across Canada from Halifax to Vancouver, as well as in the High Arctic, Australia and Scotland. His other books include three novels, a memoir (written with an Olympic champion), and a polemic (Canada's Undeclared War). Before turning mainly to books, Ken worked for two decades as a journalist (reporter, editor, books columnist, and reviewer). He writes frequently for such leading publications as Canada's History, Canadian Geographic, Maclean's, Literary Review of Canada, Celtic Life International, Globe and Mail, National Post. With degrees in journalism (Ryerson) and creative writing (UBC), Ken has taught nonfiction writing for years. He won an award for teaching excellence from the University of Toronto (Continuing Studies), and teaches creative nonfiction in the newly launched MFA program at Kings College / Dalhousie University in Halifax.
Photo: Ken returns to Rae Strait in the High Arctic.
Taken by: Sheena Fraser McGoogan