Pinawa Public Library
The Biblio File
December 10, 2018
William D. Valgardson is an Icelandic Canadian fiction writer and poet. In an interview on April 7, 2008 he not only mentions Pinawa, but the library as well, so of course this needs to be brought to everyone’s attention.
“When I went to teach in Pinawa, a very important thing happened. I was in the library one day and I came across a book by an author I’d never heard of before named Al Purdy. It was Cariboo Horses. Every writer I’ve talked to has had this kind of experience where they have suddenly been given permission to be Canadian. And Al Purdy did that for me with Cariboo Horses. For the first time I realized I didn’t have to be T.S. Eliot or Ernest Hemingway. I didn’t have to be an Englishman or an American. It was okay to write like a Canadian with Canadian content. As a Canadian, what I had to say and what I had to talk about were important. It was like a logjam bursting. At university we had only studied English and American literature, so there was a whole denial of who you were.”
Mr. Valgardson taught English at Pinawa Secondary School (then Pinawa Collegiate) in the late ‘60s.
We have 8 of his books in our Home Grown section. In Valhalla’s Shadows is his most recent publication.