Authors Jerry Auld and David Stevenson will be in Golden for a book reading and signing event at Bacchus Books & Cafe on Nov. 5.
Both authors have received acclaim from the Banff Mountain Book Competition for their work in the category of fiction, an often overlooked aspect of mountain literature.
Auld’s Short Peaks is a collection of work that he has written over the past 10 years, with all of the stories focusing on mountains and mountain culture. Auld had over 70 stories when he started putting his work together, but it was eventually whittled down to 33, and his collection was a finalist for the Banff festival’s 2013 fiction award.
One of Auld’s primary considerations was to have stories that were truly short.
“I love short stories but the two things I always found myself doing is I’d open up a collection of short stories to the table of contents, I do the math and find out where the shortest one was…I wanted a collection of very short stories,” he said. “Secondly I also remember when I was younger I’d buy a collection of stories from some great author and I’d find one great story and the rest were kind of throwaways…I wanted it to be as strong as possible and no filler.”
The Canmore author explores a large variety of perspectives across his stories, including that of a goat and a pick axe.
“I’m very interested in the different voices of telling a tale, especially about the mountains,” he said. “I didn’t want to limit the collection to a voice that might come naturally to me…I think there’s so many ways we can experience it and I was exploring that a little bit too.”
An avid outdoorsmen who grew up in Calgary and moved to Canmore 20 years ago, Auld says he draws inspiration from mountains through their sheer variety.
“I’d look out at (the buildings in Calgary) and they were pretty much the same every day, but whenever I look at the mountains, they are always different, there’s always something to notice about them,” he explained.
Stevenson’s Letters from Chamonix is a finalist for this year’s fiction award. The book includes international climbing tales from across several generations of mountain adventure. The book includes stories and a novella and has received praise from Alpinist Magazine, with that publication calling Stevenson “one of the great prose stylists of modern climbing literature.”
Admission is free for the reading and book signing, which will begin at 7 p.m. Space is limited.