Summerland completes the publication project Talonbooks began in 1990, with the publication of The Athabasca Ryga, a collection of Ryga’s early writings from his Alberta years until 1963. The 1960s, after the Rygas moved to Summerland, British Columbia, were a period of growing artistic strength and commercial success for Ryga, culminating the creative triumph of The Ecstasy of Rita Joe. The largely unpublished writings included in Summerland show him return, after the success of The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, to the large, difficult political and social questions which had inspired him from the earliest days of his long intellectual journey of self-discovery.
About the authors
In 1967, George Ryga soared to national fame with The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, which has since evolved into a modern classic. A self-proclaimed artist in resistance, Ryga takes the role of a fierce and fearless social commentator in most of his plays, and his work is renowned for its vivid and thrilling theatricality. George Ryga died of stomach cancer in Summerland, BC, in 1987 and will always be remembered and cherished as one of Canada’s most prolific and powerful writers. His memory was publicly honoured at the BC Book Prizes ceremony in 1993.
James Hoffman is a Professor of Theatre at the University College of the Cariboo, located in Kamloops, BC, and the editor of the scholarly journal Textual Studies in Canada. His research interests include Canadian theatre studies, post-colonial theory and the history and culture of theatre in BC. A recent notable production was of Nootka Sound; or, Britain Prepar’d, an eighteenth-century work which Hoffman himself labels as “British Columbia’s first play.”