Folk University’s Folk U Talks returned to Cortes Radio live shows and podcast recordings on Friday August 28th with a virtual book launch featuring sometimes local author Shaena Lambert and a guest appearance by Marnie Andrews of Marnie’s Books in celebration of Canada’s Independent Book Seller Day.
Shaena Lambert discussed her timely new novel Petra (which by the way is only available before September on Cortes Island at Marnie’s Books.) Shaena followed this with a discussion of some of her favourite books from Marnie’s Books and Marnie joined to discuss how she started the smallest independent bookstore right here on Cortes. (Spoiler Alert: it’s thanks to having an island of fantastic readers!)
Shaena is the author of two acclaimed short story collections—“The Falling Woman” and “Oh, My Darling.” And two novels, “Radiance” which is about a Hiroshima survivor who comes to live for a period of time with a long island housewife, and now “Petra,” which is a fictional story of the real Petra Kelly a peace activist and founder of the Green Party. Shaena is a powerful who takes the reader deep into the experience of her characters who will go onto take their own life in the readers mind.
Her New Book: Petra
This is what Shaena has to say about Petra:
“Petra is inspired by the real life German activist, Petra Kelly, a remarkable and charismatic woman who has been largely erased from history, as so many powerful women are erased. She changed history and transformed environmental politics – leading the global fight against nuclear missiles, and founding the Green Party – but, through her relationship with a NATO general, she found herself caught up in a complex web of love, jealousy and murder.“
“I wrote and revised much of this book on Cortes – endlessly (so it felt at the time) sticking plot diagrams on the wall above my kitchen table in winter, or heading out at dawn to my writing tent in summer. In between I was fed by the Friday market, the dancing, the singing, the swimming – the community I’ve been so lucky to be a part of.“
“As I wrote, I wanted to capture the arc of Petra Kelly’s remarkable leadership, but also her frailty, beauty, drive – and her fascinating and destructive foibles.“
“Yet as time went by, I also felt Petra’s story growing more urgent with our present crises. Lately I have really felt that Petra, the woman, is calling across time to us. Her powerful – incandescent – personality has something to teach us about hope. Her story is mysterious, complex – and speaks directly to what we are going through today, with climate change, our beautiful earth suffering, the pandemic, and always – always — the remarkable nature of human courage.“
“I’m very excited to be collaborating with Marnie’s Books for the sale of these books on the Island. We are so lucky to have Marnie on the island, where she hand-curates books for us, and wows us with her unique selection.”