Juneau author Lynn Schooler has won the Banff Mountain Book and Film Festival's award for Best Mountain Literature for his book "Walking Home." Schooler was presented the award at the festival in Banff Nov. 4.
Jurors Jon Popowich and Geoff Powter of Canada and John Porter of the United Kingdom chose Schooler's book from among 80 entries submitted from seven countries. Powter said the Mountain Book category was a very strong one this year, but that Schooler's personal story was so heartfelt and well told, it stood out among the competition.
The book tells the true story of Schooler's solo expedition by sea and land through Glacier Bay National Park, navigating not only difficult terrain but also struggling with life's most complex questions.
"A lot of books about the environment can be quite preachy and very over forceful, and his book isn't like that at all," Powter said earlier this week. "It is very gentle, but teaches (readers) so much about the world he was walking through."
"It's a lovely, lovely book."
In text read at the ceremony, Popowich also praised the work for its lasting effect on the reader.
"Elegantly and simply written, it is a humble, meaningful and insightful book, and like all good literature, its words remain echoing in the reader long after the last page is turned," Popowich wrote.
Schooler will be among the local authors at this Sunday's Hearthside Books annual event. The evening begins at 6 p.m. at the Nugget Mall location, and will feature more than 20 local writers.
Schooler's first book, "The Blue Bear," is the basis for a stage production now in the works at Perseverance Theatre; shows begin on Jan. 14.
Founded in 1933 with a grant from the Carnegie Foundation, the Banff Center is a non-degree granting educational institution. The Banff Mountain Festival includes screenings of mountain films, readings from adventure writers, seminars, panel discussions and presentations and other activities. For more information, visit www.banffcentre.ca/mountainfestival/.