Elderly woman holding a book

Local self publishes first book ‘The Geography of Belonging, A Love Story’

By Greg Osoba, CKTZ News, through an LJI grant from Canada-info.ca

First time author Oriane Lee Johnston published The Geography of Belonging, A Love Story through Cortes Island’s independent Salmonberry Arts and Publishing in late July.

Related interview: From Cortes to Zimbabwe: A Love Story

It’s a memoir taking place in Zimbabwe and coastal British Columbia portraying her experiences and reflections on working with horses, playing music, building relationships, observing various cultures, and her own place in contemporary society.

Johnston has been living on rural Cortes Island for more than three decades and worked for several years as program director at Hollyhock Leadership Learning Centre. It was there where she was exposed to West African culture, when she convinced Nigerian drumming master Babatunde Olatunji to present a program back in 1990.

At the time, little did she know that years later she would find herself in Mozambique and Zimbabwe doing volunteer work with horses and people.

To go with her book, she’s created a three-hour long music playlist on Spotify, available through her website, to accompany readers as they turn the pages of her full length work.

Top image credit: Cortes Island author Oriane Lee Johnston. Photo by Greg Osoba.