By Mike Nash, Caledonia Ramblers

KEN McGOOGAN is the award-winning author of fifteen books, including five previous bestsellers on Arctic exploration.

On October 19th and 20th, the University of Northern British Columbia hosts Ken McGoogan for two free public presentations starting at 7 p.m. in the Canfor Theatre on UNBC’s Prince George campus. Ken will be signing books after each presentation.

Thursday, October 19th: Searching for Franklin: New Answers to the Great Arctic Mystery. Encouraged by the late Louie Kamookak, the renowned Inuit historian, and drawing on his career-long engagement with the Arctic, Ken McGoogan has written an exuberant work that takes a creative-nonfiction approach to Arctic exploration history. Searching for Franklin rejects old orthodoxies, incorporates recent discoveries, and interweaves two main narratives. The first treats the Royal Navy’s Arctic Overland Expedition of 1819, a harbinger-misadventure during which Franklin rejected the advice of Dene and Metis leaders and lost 11 of his 20 men to exhaustion, starvation, and murder. The second discovers a startling new answer to the greatest Arctic mysteries: why did Franklin’s 1845 expedition devolve into catastrophe?

Friday, October 20th: Nothing is More Fun than Chasing History: Adventures in Creative Nonfiction. Ken McGoogan has published many works of creative nonfiction. In this talk, Ken relates how, in the beginning, and like most writers, he dreamed of becoming a famous fiction writer and published three novels in the early 1990s. Then he discovered history – specifically, the joys of chasing down and writing about Real People caught up in Big True Stories. With Fatal Passage, he began taking a creative-nonfiction approach to history, applying the techniques of journalism and fiction to writing historical and biographical narratives. Forget fiction-writing; with book after book, Ken preferred traveling to where events happened and then dramatized his take on events in writing about them. If History is on the ropes, Ken is out to revive it.

KEN McGOOGAN’s numerous awards include the Pierre Berton Award for History, the University of British Columbia Medal for Biography, and an American Christopher Award for “a work of artistic excellence that affirms the highest values of the human spirit.”