The annual UVic Author Celebration is coming up as part of Ideafest. Join us as we celebrate authors from the UVic community who will read from their latest works.

When: March 7, 2019
Where: UVic Bookstore
Time: 2:00-4:00pm

The author panel includes: Jason M. Colby (History), Patrick Friesen (Writing), Bill Gaston (Writing), and Lynne Marks (History). Jim Forbes (Director of Campus Services) will host and Jonathan Bengtson (University Librarian) will moderate.

This week, we will highlight the books written by members of the author panel.

Just Let Me Look at You: On Fatherhood by Bill Gaston was released by Penguin Random House in 2018 and is a finalist for the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize.

About the Book

Sons clash with fathers, sons find reasons to rebel. And, fairly or unfairly, sons judge fathers when they take to drinking.

But Bill Gaston and his father could always fish together. When they were shoulder-to-shoulder, joined in rapt fascination with the world under their hull, they had what all fathers and sons wish for. Even if it was temporary, even if much of it would be forgotten along with the empties.

Returning to the past in his old fishing boat, revisiting the remote marina where they lived on board and learned to mooch for salmon, Bill unravels his father’s relationship with his father, it too a story marked by heavy drinking, though one that took a much darker turn.

Learning family secrets his father took to the grave, Gaston comes to understand his own story anew, realizing that the man his younger self had been so eager to judge was in fact someone both nobler and more vulnerable than he had guessed.

Warm, insightful, and often funny, Just Let Me Look at You captures every father’s inexpressible tenderness, and the ways in which the words for love often come too late for all of us.

About the Author

Bill Gaston came to the UVic Writing Department in 1998 following a dozen years in the Maritimes, mostly at UNB, Fredericton. There he was Director of the Creative Writing Program and, for a time, editor of Canada’s oldest literary journal, The Fiddlehead. He’s also lived in Toronto, Winnipeg and France, and spent his formative years on the slopes of North Vancouver. He worked at the usual struggling-writer jobs, typically in universities but also in group homes — but the most exotic of these jobs were fishing guide, swamping for a cat at a logging show and playing hockey in the south of France. For decades he’s led a more settled existence in Gordon Head, where he resides with writer Dede Crane. He is the author of seven novels and seven collections of short fiction, as well as a book of poems and a memoir, Midnight Hockey. His fiction has been shortlisted for the Giller Prize, and twice for the Governor General’s Award. His most recent novel, The World, won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

Praise for the Book

“Under Gaston’s quiet prose lies an ocean of pain and hard truths. Unsentimental and yet deeply poignant, his memoir will resonate with anyone who wanted more from a father than he could give.” —Trevor Cole

“This book isn’t just for fathers, sons or those who fish…as a mother and daughter who does not fish, I nonetheless related to Bill’s longing to understand the person who had raised him and helped shape his world view. A beautifully written memoir about the complex layers that exist between parent and child and the drive to find peace with our childhood ghosts.” —Cea Sunrise Person, author of North of Normal

“I was heartbroken in the first five pages. Bill Gaston kicks and punches holes in the walls of time and recounts the battle between father and son, a battle that defines us whether we like it or not. For everyone who fights ghosts and knows they’re never going to win, but keeps trying.” —Tom Wilson, author of Beautiful Scars

“Bill Gaston’s unflinching courage shines through in his latest memoir, planting him firmly alongside other such top-shelf soul searchers as Mary Karr, David Adams Richards and Nick Flynn. Heartbreaking, hilarious and admittedly haunting, Just Let Me Look at You is a timely and timeless reclamation story, poignant and auspicious, written with heart.” —Joel Thomas Hynes, author of We’ll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night