okanagan online book club






January 2021: Okanagan Online Book Club

All are welcome to join us online at 7 PM on Thursday, January 21, to discuss Write It On Your Heart: The Epic World of an Okanagan Storyteller by Harry Robinson.

From the Talon Books website:

Write It On Your Heart is unique in that it chronicles not only the treasure house of a vibrant First Nations culture, but also the sweeping changes which took place in that culture as it began to interact with the new colonists who introduced a foreign language and writing to the mythic world of Coyote, Fox and Owl. As more and more of his listeners, First Nations included, understood only English, Robinson began to tell his old stories in this new language in order to keep them alive.

Of this, Robinson’s first of three collection of stories:

Write It On Your Heart is nothing less than a masterwork in the genre of oral literature. Roboinson’s mastery of his craft and his traditions are flawless.” Journal of American Folklore

“Epic, mesmerizing tales by a great Okanagan storyteller…that lift one early and movingly into a different world” Toronto Star

“Nowhere have I read a more productive synthesis of the oral tradition…and the written word. A few other books have come close, but only close.” Vancouver Sun

Born in 1900 on a potato farm in Oyama in the Okanagan Valley, Harry Robinson grew up in a small village in the Similkameen Valley of south-central B.C. as a member of the Lower Similkameen Band of the Interior Salish people. A rancher for most of his life, Robinson also looked upon himself as one of the last storytellers of his people. In his boyhood, he spent long hours in the company of his grandmother and other elders, who told him numerous stories that would later become central to his life.

Of Robinson, Thomas King stated he “May well be may well be the most powerful storytelling voice in North America.”

To order the book click here. Follow the links below for more information about Write It On Your Heart and Harry Robinson.


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Greater Vernon Museum & Archives is located on the Ancestral, Traditional and Unceded Territory of the Okanagan Nation and the Syilx People.