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Biography & Autobiography Editors, Journalists, Publishers

Adventures in Solitude

What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound

by (author) Grant Lawrence

Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Initial publish date
Oct 2010
Editors, Journalists, Publishers
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2010
    List Price
  • CD-Audio

    Publish Date
    Apr 2012
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 16
  • Grade: 11


From Captain George Vancouver to Muriel "Curve of Time" Blanchet to Jim "Spilsbury's Coast" Spilsbury, visitors to Desolation Sound have left behind a trail of books endowing the area with a romantic aura that helps to make it British Columbia's most popular marine park. In this hilarious and captivating book, CBC personality Grant Lawrence adds a whole new chapter to the saga of this storied piece of BC coastline.

Young Grant's father bought a piece of land next to the park in the 1970s, just in time to encounter the gun-toting cougar lady, left-over hippies, outlaw bikers and an assortment of other characters. In those years Desolation Sound was a place where going to the neighbours' potluck meant being met with hugs from portly naked hippies and where Russell the Hermit's school of life (boating, fishing, and rock 'n' roll) was Grant's personal Enlightenment--an influence that would take him away from the coast to a life of music and journalism and eventually back again.

With rock band buddies and a few cases of beer in tow, an older, cooler Grant returns to regale us with tales of "going bush," the tempting dilemma of finding an unguarded grow-op, and his awkward struggle to convince a couple of visiting kayakers that he's a legit CBC radio host while sporting a wild beard and body wounds and gesticulating with a machete. With plenty of laugh-out-loud humour and inspired reverence, Adventures in Solitude delights us with the unique history of a place and the growth of a young man amidst the magic of Desolation Sound.

About the author

Grant Lawrence, une personnalité connue du réseau anglais de Radio-Canada, est l’auteur de trois ouvrages pour adultes : Adventures in Solitude, The Lonely End of the Rink et Dirty Windshields. Les deux premiers lui ont mérité un prix Bill Duthie (choix des libraires) aux BC Book Prizes, faisant de Lawrence le premier auteur à être deux fois lauréat. Au cours de sa carrière, Grant Lawrence a aussi remporté un prix Écran canadien, il a été chroniqueur au North Shore News et gardien de but pour l’équipe de hockey de garage les Flying Vees. Il vit à Vancouver avec son épouse Jill Barber et leurs deux enfants.


Grant Lawrence's profile page


  • Short-listed, Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction
  • Winner, Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award--BC Book Prize
  • Short-listed, Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize--BC Book Prize
  • Short-listed, Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction

Librarian Reviews

Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories From Desolation Sound

This is an hilarious, occasionally sobering collection of short essays from Lawrence’s youth spent most holidays at his family cabin in Desolation Sound. Lawrence reveals the stories behind peculiar characters and local legends such as Mack the Knife and Russell the Hermit. He also explores the unique culture of and insiders’ tips to living in the Sound. Includes a recommended reading and listening list.

Vancouver-based writer Lawrence is a prolific podcaster, music journalist and CBC Radio host.

Caution: References to alcohol and drug use, and a neighbour’s nudity may offend some readers.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2011-2012.

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