A finalist for the 1995 Governor General's Literary Award for English-language non-fiction
Winner of the Mountain Environment and Culture Award at the 1995 Banff Mountain Book Festival
Leaning on the Wind is a love song of the west, sung to the tune of the wild chinook wind. Sid Marty skilfully weaves together the prehistory of Alberta with the experiences of First Nations, miners, early homesteaders and his own family. At the centre of his tale is the Marty homestead, located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Sid looks back through generations of his family and celebrates the feats of wild creatures and wild westerners.
The past comes alive in these pages, but so does the present, where you will meet cowboy poets, bull riders, sailplane pilots, desperate chicken farmers, curmudgeonly broncos, a homicidal cow elk, some dubious politicians and several fierce defenders of the earth. Humour and sardonic wit abound, along with abundant affection for the western earth and the people who depend on its bounties and experience its extremes of wind, frost and drought.
A western classic, Leaning on the Wind is as evocative today as when it was first published in 1995.
“These essays are so vital, so vibrant, so full of life, you just want to jump up and down for joy. —Edmonton Journal
Marty’s thorough research and eloquent storytelling, coupled with his personal connections to this land and most certainly his strong opinions, make the history and culture of southern Alberta, especially the nuances of the pioneer and ranching set, come alive . . . Through it all, Marty reminds us [that] the land of the chinook is a remarkable place, as unique and powerful as the great deserts of the American Southwest, the jungles of the Amazon Basin or the plains of Africa. —Rocky Mountain Outlook
“Surely one of the best books about Alberta ever written.” —Kevin Connolly, Equinox magazine
“[F]ine writing and absorbing narrative” —Maggie Siggins, the Globe and Mail