Joan Haggerty of Telkwa will be launching her beautiful new novel, The Dancehall Years, this Friday night at The Old Church in Smithers at 7:30 p.m.
She will give a reading and talk about her writing process. She spent 20 years working on The Dancehall Years. There will be refreshments and books for sale.
The Dancehall Years begins one summer on Bowen Island during the Depression and moves through Pearl Harbor and the evacuation of the Japanese and into the 1970s. Gwen Killam is a child on Bowen whose idyllic summers are obliterated by the outbreak of the war. Her swimming teacher, Takumi Yoshito, disappears along with his parents who are famous for their devotion to the Bowen Inn gardens. The Lower Mainland is in blackout, and so is the future of Gwen’s beloved Aunt Isabelle who must make an unthinkable sacrifice. The Bowen Island dancehall is well-known during the war as a moonlight cruise destination and it becomes an emotional landmark for time passing and remembered. Some of the later scenes in her novel take place in the Bulkley Valley. Brilliantly crafted, The Dancehall Years is a literary gem. This event is supported by The Writers’ Union of Canada and The Canada Council. Admission is free.
Joan Haggerty was born in 1940 and raised in Vancouver. From 1962 to 1972 she lived and wrote in London, England; Formentera, Spain; and New York City. Returning to the B.C. coast, she made her home in Roberts Creek and Vancouver where she taught in the Creative Writing Dept. at UBC. Haggerty began a second career as a high school teacher in the Bulkley Valley in 1990. She taught at Houston Secondary School for 15 years.
Her previous books are Please, Miss, Can I Play God?, Daughters of the Moon, and The Invitation which was nominated for the Governor General’s Award in 1994. She has spent her summers on Bowen Island since childhood. She now lives in Telkwa.
– Released by Mother Tongue Publishing.