John Ralston Saul, internationally known author, essayist and president of PEN International, is coming to Revelstoke on September 27.
“NCES is bringing him to co-incide with our Kokanee Fish Fest via a speaking tour organized through the Columbia Basin Watershed Network,” Hailey Ross of the North Columbia Environmental Society told The Current on Tuesday morning.”I’ll know more next week.”
The Columbia Basin Watershed Network assists local watershed groups by providing information and educational resources. It also functions as a central meeting point to collaborate on ideas and ultimately function as a larger unified body.
John Ralston Saul is one of Canada’s foremost intellectuals. Born in Ottawa, he studied at McGill University in Montreal and at King’s College London where he wrote his thesis on the modernization of France under Charles DeGaulle, and earned his Ph.D in 1972. After helping to set up the national oil company Petro-Canada in 1976, as assistant to its first chairman, Maurice Strong, he published his first novel The Birds of Prey in 1977.
Through the late 1970s and 1980s, Saul travelled regularly with guerrilla armies, spending a great deal of time in North Africa and South East Asia. Out of this time came his novels, The Field Trilogy. It was during those extended periods in Northwest Africa and Southeast Asia that he witnessed fellow writers there suffering government suppression of freedom of expression, which caused him to become interested in the work of PEN International. In 2009 he was elected president of PEN International, only the second North American to hold the position since its creation in 1921, the other being Arthur Miller.
On a personal note, he is the life partner of former governor general Adrienne Clarkson.