On June 15, award winning author Gillian Wigmore returned to Fort St. James to perform a reading from her newest novel, Glory, in which Fort St. James provides the setting for an evocative, polyphonic narrative that focuses on what it means to be a woman in north-central British Columbia.
The occasion, which was a free event hosted by Invisible Publishing at the Fort St. James Public Library, marked the first time Wigmore has read any excerpts from the novel in the town in which it is set. Described as a northern gothic tale about resilience and belonging, Wigmore’s experience growing up in Vanderhoof area and frequenting Stone’s Bay on Stuart Lake certainly gave the author ample inspiration.
Wigmore certainly has history in the community, too. Stone’s Bay was named for her great-grandfather and she worked at the Eagle Crest Pub and the Historic Fort throughout her undergrad, where she successfully pursued a double major in Writing and English at the University of Victoria. Wigmore currently resides Prince George.
During the nearly 10 year writing process of Glory, Wigmore was constantly busy with her two children, while also working as the Coordinator for the Nechako Branch of the Prince George Public Library.
Yet, as with most of her other writing, which includes Soft Geography, a book of poetry that introspectively analyzes the landscape and those who inhabit northern B.C. and Grayling, a novella that seamlessly weaves a couple’s vibrant journey down the Dease River with mesmerizing descriptions of the northern B.C. landscape, Glory, at its core, is about the intricacies of a small town.
Award-winning Canadian author Eden Robison echoes that sentiment.
“When faced with a choice between a life as a mother, where all the tomorrows look just like yesterday, Renee chooses her new friend Glory, plunging the reader into a twisting journey of love and survival. Sensitive, taut and observant, each voice in Wigmore’s complex tapestry brings this small town brilliantly to life,” says Robinson, describing the novel.
Wigmore is the author of three books of poems: the aforementioned soft geography, Dirt of Ages and Orient. She also penned the previously touched on novella, Grayling. Wigmore’s work has been recognized and shared in magazines nationally and internationally. The award-winning author has also been shortlisted for prizes, while her work has been anthologized.