Join Grant Lawrence and singer Jill Barber for an evening of entertainment at the Creston Valley Public Library at 7 p.m. Oct. 22.
Lawrence will share stories from his books, show slides and a short film, and talk about his conflicted — yet ultimately positive — relationship with hockey. Jill Barber, a celebrated jazz singer, will also perform.
In addition to being a CBC host, an eminent indie-rock alumnus and the award-winning author of the best-selling book, Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound, Lawrence has another claim to fame: As a baby, he spent part of a plane ride from Toronto to Montreal on Bobby Orr’s lap. Grant, his parents, Orr and the rest of the Canadian hockey team were on their way to Game 3 of the famous Summit Series between the Soviet Union and Canada in 1972, during the height of the Cold War. It was at this tender age that Lawrence’s lifelong entanglement with hockey began.
Lawrence’s most recent book, The Lonely End of the Rink: Confessions of a Reluctant Goalie, is an ingenious combination of hockey lore, Canadian music history and personal anecdotes. The book instantly hit the national bestseller list on its release in October 2013. It is a hilarious account of hockey’s influence throughout Lawrence’s life, first when he was a knee brace-wearing bully magnet, tormented by the hockey-obsessed jocks at his school, then as a rock star touring the country with his band, The Smugglers, and finally, when he became a CBC broadcaster and journalist who found striking connections between the worlds of hockey and music.
Lawrence’s first book, Adventures in Solitude, is full of tales of his summers spent in Desolation Sound, where going to a neighbour’s potluck meant being met with hugs from portly naked hippies, and where Russell the Hermit’s school of life (boating, fishing and rock ’n’ roll) influenced Lawrence to pursue a career in music. Shortly after it was released in 2010, Adventures in Solitude was nominated for multiple awards and won the Bill Duthie Booksellers Choice Award. It quickly hit the No. 1 spot on the B.C. bestseller list and stayed there many months.
The Lonely End of the Rink may differ from Adventures in Solitude in that is has hockey stick-wielding bullies rather than an octopus armed with a wrench or scenes of locker-room nudity instead of the au natural displays of Desolation Sound, but both books are full of Lawrence’s signature storytelling ability and side-splitting narration.
This free event is presented by the Kootenay Library Federation. For more information about Lawrence and his books, go to www.grantlawrence.ca, and to find out more about Barber and listen to music samples, visit www.jillbarber.com.