A great essayist's portrait of British Columbia in the 1960s, following Notes from the Century Before.
In 1968 Edward Hoagland embarked on his second trip to British Columbia. The following year he published the journal from his first trip as Notes from the Century Before, a classic that is still in print today. Early in the Season is the never-before-published account of the second journey, a trip that formed the basis for his fourth novel, Seven Rivers West, and was recently excerpted in the Houghton Mifflin Best American Travel Writing anthology.
An introduction by award-winning writer Stephen Hume and a new epilogue by Hoagland himself reveal why, forty years later, this historically rich window on the people and places that shaped British Columbia is still relevant today.
About the authors
Edward Hoagland is one of the best contemporary American essayists, known for his nature and travel writing. His essays and short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Harper's and the New York Times Book Review. The author of twenty books and the general editor for the Penguin Nature Library, he won the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship for the novel Cat Man and was elected to the American Academy of Institute of Arts and Letters. He lives in Martha's Vineyard and Bartown, Vermont.
Stephen Hume was raised in fishing, farming and logging communities across Alberta and BC and studied at the University of Victoria. A journalist for over 35 years, Hume was editor-in-chief at the Edmonton Journal before moving to BC to become columnist and feature writer for the Vancouver Sun. He has won more than a dozen awards for his poetry, essays and journalism, including the Writers Guild of Alberta Literary Award, the Southam President's Award and the Marjorie Nichols Memorial Award. Stephen became the first Canadian to win the Dolly Connelly prize for environmental writing. His other books include Raincoast Chronicles 20: Lilies and Fireweed, Bush Telegraph and Off the Map, which was shortlisted for a Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Book Prize. He currently teaches professional writing at the University of Victoria.
"The story of a place is written not only by those who live there, but also by outsiders savvy enough to let us to see ourselves with new eyes. British Columbia could not ask for a better witness than Edward Hoagland: blunt, spontaneous, dreamy, worldly, randy, adoring, unflinching. And here his voice is as clear as could be; Early in the Season is a true journal, hot from the mind and onto the page. It will send you out into the unloved country, the wilderness that still shapes us, if only to prove him right or wrong."
"Here are mountain men, trappers, truck drivers, yarn-spinners and grizzly attach survivors; a gallery of aromatic wilderness humanity, sketched with such deft, unsentimental directness as to be prose equivalents of black-and-white Polaroids...Early in the Season is an extraordinarily find little book, required reading for anyone who wonders what writing can do or whether it's possible to visit the same place twice."
"Hoagland writes with a keen eye for flora and fauna, and an even keener ear for rustic hyperbole: one old sourdough recounts how pioneering winters were so cold 'the smoke from the chimney had frozen into a pillar towering in the air, and they'd chopped that down and sawed it up and built a house out of the blocks, a real "smokehouse".' Nobody tells stories like that anymore...We're lucky, then, that those myths live on in this book."
Other titles by Stephen Hume
A Walk with the Rainy Sisters
In Praise of British Columbia's Places
In Search of Modern British Columbia
A Stain Upon the Sea
West Coast Salmon Farming
Raincoast Chronicles 20: Lilies and Fireweed
Frontier Women of British Columbia
Off the Map
Western Travels on Roads Less Taken
British Columbia's Cattle Country
Discovering the Pacific Province
Seasonal splendors of the North American West