A literary journey around Calgary as seen through the eyes of writers, from its frontier beginnings to today’s contemporary city.
Shaun Hunter tours readers and urban explorers through a place that has captivated writers since 1792. She has selected excerpts from over 150 novels, stories, poems and essays that sing the city’s human and natural terrain, plumb its past, and question its prevailing mythologies.
Writers take us beyond the city’s familiar stereotypes of cowboys and oil barons and reveal Calgary’s multiple worlds and its interiors. They explore the city’s perpetual motion of extreme, unpredictable weather and a boom-and-bust economy. Through writers’ eyes, we travel into the inner sanctums of the oil patch, and see the layers of the world-famous Calgary Stampede. Coming-of-age stories show the way this place shapes identity; poems and prose tease meaning and metaphor from a city perched on the dynamic edge of prairie and foothills.
Alongside each excerpt, Hunter presents delightful and informative connections between place and story. A timeline anchors the passages and marks significant moments in its literary history. Maps and an index invite readers to find their own trails through a complex and storied city.