By David F. Rooney
John Ralston Saul, the Canadian intellectual and author Time magazine declared a prophet, will be speaking in public at the Performing Arts Centre on Friday, September 27, at 6 pm.
He will be speaking about his book, A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada.
In 2003 he was declared a “prophet” by Time magazine in 2003 and included in Utne Reader’s list of the world’s 100 leading thinkers and visionaries.
His works have been translated into 23 languages in 30 countries. In this lecture, Saul will discuss the way Canadians are influenced and shaped by aboriginal culture in the context of understanding our past to build our future.
An in-depth story by Laura Stovel about Saul and his ideas will be published in The Current this weekend.
Tickets for this event will cost $15 each. Tickets for students 18 and under will be $5. Tickets are available at Chantilly Kitchen Bed ‘n’ Bath and at Grizzly Books.
Saul’s willing ness to speak here was announced last month b y the North Columbia Environmental Society.
“NCES is bringing him to co-incide with our Kokanee Fish Fest via a speaking tour organized through the Columbia Basin Watershed Network,” the NCES’ Hailey Ross told The Current on August 27.
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.
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.