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Scottish Trilogy Still Marching in Canada

So a friend who lives in Hants County, Nova Scotia -- the county in which my mother was born and raised -- sent me a link to a podcast I have never heard, but which finds me talking about How the Scots Invented Canada. For sure that's something people want to hear, right? Voila: click here. In related news, Flight of the Highlanders is exceeding projections. Published in hardcover last autumn, the book will surface in paperback in August. Assuming we get clear of COVID-19, that same month will find me talking with folks at the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games. Please stay tuned.
Ken McGoogan
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Chasing Lemurs dazzles early readers

For nineteen months, while in her mid-twenties,

Keriann McGoogan lived and worked in Madagascar, spending twelve-hour days following groups of lemurs through the northwestern dry forests. She was leading a research team of Malagasy men, only one of whom spoke English or French. What could possibly go wrong? In her forthcoming book, Chasing Lemurs, McGoogan brings the story to vivid life. Don't take my word for it. The advance readers are weighing in: 

“Chasing Lemurs is a riveting journey into one of our planet’s most imperiled biodiversity hotspots. With the irrepressible spirit and sure voice of a hardened traveler, McGoogan exposes the physical and mental toll that remote scientific field work can take upon the scientist, and how moments of epiphany in the wild are made all the richer for it. The adventure of a lifetime. Recommended for all primate fans, and anyone who has ever dreamed of studying animals in the wild.” 
–Andrew Westoll, author of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary

"Keriann McGoogan weaves a gritty and truthful tale that immerses readers in the remote, dangerous, and uncomfortable world of expeditionary fieldwork. The intense narrative reveals the wonders of a lost world and the sacrifices made in the name of research. Her confessions of self-doubt and uncertainty will resonate with anyone facing life's challenges or choosing to take the road less traveled."
–Jill Heinerth, author of Into The Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver

“Keriann McGoogan has given us a fascinating adventure story that is also a superb travelogue, field guide, and social portrait of one of the world's least-known, yet truly exotic countries. A reader could hardly ask for a more encompassing overview of Madagascar or a clearer description of its increasingly threatened ecology. Importantly, the reader is left with the terrible realization of how badly humans have treated our fellow primates -- the many and intriguingly various species of lemurs, who are endemic to this African island. McGoogan’s 's book is fundamentally a call to action to protect these complex and endangered creatures, and she has succeeded admirably.”
–Geoff White, Canadian chargé d'affaires to Madagascar, 2010-2013

“An honest and suspenseful account of the challenges of wildlife research, Keriann McGoogan’s book shatters all the romantic illusions of doing science in a remote tropical location. Her story is a must read for any wildlife enthusiast considering embarking on a career in the field, or for any conservation-minded individual curious about the difficulties field researchers sometimes endure. McGoogan rose to the seemingly insurmountable challenges and persevered. As a result, she has made substantial strides in what has become a very rewarding career in both primate research and conservation”.
Dr. Brian Keating, presenter/producer & owner of

(Chasing Lemurs, published by Prometheus Books of New York, will be released everywhere on April 14. 

Ken McGoogan
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F*cking with Narrative in T.O.?

Sounds dangerously radical, I know. But that, I'm afraid, is today's burning question. It surfaces here because a fabulous writers' conference is coming to Toronto and I play a small part in it. 

The annual gathering of the Creative Nonfiction Collective will take place at the University of Toronto (Emmanuel College) from May 8 to 10. Born in the Wild West (OK, Banff) some 16 years ago, the CNFC will attract writers from across the land.
The Friday night keynote speaker is Ian Brown, whose books include Sixty and The Boy in the Moon. Trust me, he is one heckuva speaker. And the program is jam-packed with CNF writers of all kinds -- memoirists, essay-writers, narrative historians -- as well as a public relations consultant, a publisher-agent, an online marketing strategist, you name it. Here, check it out. 
As for F*cking With Narrative, well, that’s what we'll explore in my Saturday workshop. When research-based story-telling drives you towards third-person omniscience, suddenly you find yourself facing stop signs and roadblocks. You can’t do this, you can’t do that. Narrative is f*cking with you.
Or maybe your story cries out for scene but the biographical record presents nothing. Nada. What to do? No worries. These problems have technical solutions. In this craft-oriented workshop, we’ll look at best strategies, among them transparency, implied stream of consciousness, multiple flashbacks, and The Rolling Now. We’ll do some on-the-spot freewriting. Master these moves, it says here, and you’ll be break-dancing with story. Yup, you’ll be f*cking with narrative.

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.