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An Evening with Explorer Adam Shoalts

Wednesday Nov 06 2019 7:00 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Atrium

Discussing and signing Beyond the Trees: A Journey Alone Across Canada’s Arctic (Allen Lane).

With his trademark doggedness fueled by his unquenchable love of nature, Adam Shoalts sets out in the spring of 2017 to trek across Canada’s arctic from west to eat. He must time his departure by the breakup of the spring ice, then sprint across 4,000 kilometers of inhumanly rugged terrain to arrive before winter closes in.

Between his starting point in the Yukon, and his destination in Nunavut, lies a maze of obstacles. Any one of them would be daunting to even the most adventurous explorer. But his rewards are beyond reckoning.

Heartstopping, filled with wonder, and beautifully attentive to the majesty of the natural world, Beyond the Trees captures the ache for adventure as only an adventurer can.

Adam Shoalts has been called one of Canada’s greatest living explorers and in 2017 completed a nearly 4,000 km solo journey across Canada’s arctic. He is the author of two previous bestselling and award-winning books: Alone Against the North and A History of Canada in Ten Maps. He is also an historian, archaeologist, and geographer. Shoalts’s doctoral research at McMaster University examined the influence indigenous oral traditions had on European explorers in Canada’s subarctic and West Coast. He has done archaeology in four countries and enjoys long walks in the woods.

See:

Beyond the Trees

- by Adam Shoalts

Hardcover $32.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $29.66

A thrilling odyssey through an unforgiving landscape, from "Canada's greatest living explorer."

In the spring of 2017, Adam Shoalts, bestselling author and adventurer, set off on an unprecedented solo journey across North America's greatest wilderness. A place where, in our increasingly interconnected, digital world, it's still possible to wander for months without crossing a single road, or even see another human being.

Between his starting point in Eagle Plains, Yukon Territory, to his destination in Baker Lake, Nunavut, lies a maze of obstacles: shifting ice floes, swollen rivers, fog-bound lakes, and gale-force storms. And Shoalts must time his departure by the breakup of the spring ice, then sprint across nearly 4,000 kilometers of rugged, wild terrain to arrive before winter closes in.

He travels alone up raging rivers that only the most expert white-water canoeists dare travel even downstream. He must portage across fields of jagged rocks that stretch to the horizon, and navigate labyrinths of swamps, tormented by clouds of mosquitoes every step of the way. And the race against the calendar means that he cannot afford the luxuries of rest, or of making mistakes. Shoalts must trek tirelessly, well into the endless Arctic summer nights, at times not even pausing to eat.

But his reward is the adventure of a lifetime.

Heart-stopping, wonder-filled, and attentive to the majesty of the natural world, Beyond the Trees captures the ache for adventure that afflicts us all.

Alone Against the North

- by Adam Shoalts

Trade paperback $22.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.80

Winner of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario's 2016 Young Authors Award 
Winner of the 2017 Louise de Kiriline Award for Nonfiction


Adam Shoalts was no stranger to the wilderness. He had hacked his way through jungles, stared down bears and climbed mountains. But, one spot on the map called out to him irresistibly. Cutting through the forbidding landscape of the Hudson Bay Lowlands is a river no hunter, no explorer, has left any record of paddling. It was this river that Shoalts was obsessively determined to explore.    

What Shoalts discovered as he paddled downriver appeared in no satellite imagery or map: a series of waterfalls that could easily have killed him. Just as astonishing was the media reaction when he got back to civilization. He was crowned "Canada's Indiana Jones" and was feted by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and congratulated by the governor general. Shoalts had proved that the world is bigger than we think.         

Gripping and often poetic, Alone Against the North is a classic adventure story of single-minded obsession, physical hardship, and the restless sense of wonder that every explorer has in common. Shoalts's story makes it clear that the world can become known only by setting out into the unfamiliar, where every step is different from the one before and something you may never have imagined lies around the next curve in the river.

A History of Canada in Ten Maps

- by Adam Shoalts

Trade paperback $22.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.80

Winner of the 2018 Louise de Kiriline Lawrence Award for Nonfiction


Envisioning the mysterious land that would eventually be called "Canada" through the eyes of the explorers who first set foot on these shores, A History of Canada in Ten Maps brings our stories to life.


     Every map tells a story, and every map has a purpose: inviting us to go somewhere we've never been. It is an account of what we know, but also a trace of what we long for. Like a story, a map is never completely objective. It records special interests and agendas. It leaves important things unsaid even as it purports to lay things out clearly and indisputably. We can know our history by our maps.
     That is what A History of Canada in Ten Maps will do. This book chronicles not just the centuries of Canada's existence; it conjures the world as it appeared to those who were called upon to map it. What would the new world look like to Jacques Cartier, who could see no farther than the treeline? What would the north have looked like to Martin Frobisher, confronting a sea of ice but imagining that Cathay lay just beyond? What would the vastness of the country look like to a surveyor or railroad engineer (or an investor in Great Britain)? And what rival claims to the land were left off all these maps?
     Historical maps may tell only part of the story, but they also tell us volumes about what we didn't know, and hint at what we may have preferred go unrecorded. A History of Canada in Ten Maps will tell the story of the creators of these maps, and also recount how they used the maps for their own ends. It is a book that will surprise readers, and reveal the Canada we never knew was hidden. It will bring to life the characters and the disputes that forged our history, by showing us what the world looked like before it entered the history books. Combining storytelling, cartography, geography, and of course history, this book will show us Canada in a way we've never seen it before.