Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ken McGoogan - Northwest Passage author of The Fatal Passage Quartet

Ken McGoogan
A globe-trotting ex-journalist who chased the ghost of Lady Franklin across Tasmania, survived shipwreck off the coast of Dar es Salaam, and placed a commemorative plaque in the High Arctic, Ken McGoogan is best-known for his quartet of books about the Northwest Passage. McGoogan is the author of a number of biographies, histories, fiction and non-fiction books. His most recent work is How the Scots Invented Canada. He has received many awards for his work including the Pierre Berton Award for Canadian History.

“Ken McGoogan is required reading for any Canadian who wants to know the real history of our country.”

A globe-trotting ex-journalist who chased the ghost of Lady Franklin across Tasmania, survived shipwreck off the coast of Dar es Salaam, and placed a commemorative plaque in the High Arctic, Ken McGoogan is best-known for his quartet of books about the Northwest Passage (seeHome Page). Born in Montreal and raised in a French-speaking town, Ken is multi-ethnic and deeply rooted, his ancestors having arrived as early as 1619, and no later than 1823.

Ken has visited every province and territory, and has lived in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon. He has sojourned in Greece and Tanzania, rambled around Europe, the United States, and Scotland, and visited Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, India and Sri Lanka.
 Ken has a bachelor’s degree in journalism (Ryerson) and a master’s degree in creative writing (University of British Columbia).

For two decades, Ken worked as a journalist, moving from The Toronto Star to The Montreal Star and The Calgary Herald, where he served as books editor and literary columnist. These days, he reviews for the Globe and Mail and writes a column for Canada’s History (the magazine formerly known as The Beaver). Ken has worked as a writer-in-residence in Fredericton, Toronto, Dawson City, and Hobart, Tasmania, and currently teaches narrative nonfiction at the University of Toronto. He lives in the Toronto Beaches with his artist-wife, Sheena Fraser McGoogan, with whom he has two adult children.

Selected Awards
-- Pierre Berton Award for Canadian History (body of work)
-- University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian Biography,Lady Franklin’s Revenge
-- Evergreen Award, Ontario Library Association, finalist, Lady Franklin’s Revenge
-- Writers’ Trust of Canada / Drainie-Taylor Biography Award,Fatal 1Passage
-- Canadian Authors’ Association Award for History, Fatal Passage
-- Grant MacEwan Author’s Award, Fatal Passage
-- Christopher Award (U.S.) for “a work of artistic excellence that affirms the highest values of the human spirit,” Fatal Passage
-- B.C. National Book Award for Non-Fiction, long-listed, Race to the Polar Sea
-- Keith Matthews Award, honourable mention, Nautical Research Society, Race to the Polar Sea
-- Reader’s Digest Magazine: Canada’s Best Historical Writer (body of work)
-- National Magazine Awards, finalist in profiles, Literary Review of Canada
-- Globe and Mail Top 100 Book, Lady Franklin’s Revenge
-- Sandpiper Books / Calgary Freedom of Expression award
-- Writers’ Guild of Alberta Non-fiction Award, Canada’s Undeclared War

Biographies and Histories
-- How the Scots Invented Canada. HarperCollins Canada, 384 pages, October 2010.
-- Race to the Polar Sea: The Heroic Adventures and Romantic Obsessions of Elisha Kent Kane. HarperCollins Canada, Counterpoint Press U.S., 366 pages, 2008.
-- Lady Franklin’s Revenge: A True Story of Ambition, Obsession and the Remaking of Arctic History. HarperCollins Canada, Bantam/Transworld U.K. 468 pages, 2005.
-- Ancient Mariner: The Amazing Adventures of Samuel Hearne, the Sailor Who Walked to the Arctic Ocean. HarperCollins Canada, Bantam/ Transworld U.K., Carroll & Graf U.S. 334 pages, 2003.
-- Fatal Passage: The Untold Story of John Rae, the Arctic Adventurer Who Discovered the Fate of Franklin. HarperCollins Canada, Bantam/ Transworld U.K., Carroll & Graf U.S., 328 pages, 2001. (Basis of Passage, a docudrama aired on BBC Scotland & History Channel.)

Other Nonfiction Books
-- Going For Gold, co-author with Catriona Le May Doan. McClelland & Stewart, 174 pages, 2001.
-- Canada’s Undeclared War: Fighting Words from the Literary Trenches. Detselig Enterprises, 277 pages, 1991.

-- Visions of Kerouac: Satori Magic Edition. Willow Avenue Books, 285 pages, 2008;  Pottersfield Press, 293 pages, 1993;Kerouac’s Ghost. Robert Davies Publishing, 292 pages, 1996; Quebec and France:  as Le Fantome de Kerouac. Balzac-Le-Griot, 281 pages, 1998.
-- Chasing Safiya, 1999. Bayeux Arts, 267 pages, 1999.
-- Calypso Warrior, 1995. Robert Davies Publishing, 187 pages, 1995

-- Public Lending Right Commission, vice-chair 2008-09, chair 2010
-- Royal Canadian Geographical Society, fellow & expeditions committee, 2008-present
-- Tasmanian Writers’ Centre, writer-in-residence, 2006
-- Toronto Reference Library, writer-in-residence, 2005
-- University of Cambridge, Wolfson College, visiting fellow, 2004
-- University of New Brunswick, writer-in-residence, 2003
-- Pierre Berton Writers’ Retreat, writer-in-residence, 2002
-- Banff Centre for the Arts / Writers’ Guild of Alberta, writer-in-residence, 2001
-- University of Cambridge, Wolfson College, press fellow, 1998

Festival Appearances
-- International Festival of Authors (Toronto), 2009
-- London (Ontario) Writers’ Festival, 2008
-- Edmonton LitFest, 2007
-- Ottawa Writers’ Festival, 2005
-- Tennessee Williams Writers’ Festival (New Orleans), 2005
-- Melbourne Writers’ Festival, 2004
-- Alden Nowlan Writers’ Festival (New Brunswick), 2004
-- Banff-Calgary Writers’ Festival, 2001, 2003
-- Vancouver Readers’ and Writers’ Festival, 1995

Wikipedia / Ken McGoogan

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