Calgary through the Eyes of Writers

By (author): Shaun Hunter
ISBN 9781771602730
Hardcover | Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Book Dimensions: 6.625 in x 8.25 in
304 Pages

About the Book

A literary journey around Calgary as seen through the eyes of writers, from its frontier beginnings to today’s contemporary city.

Shaun Hunter tours readers and urban explorers through a place that has captivated writers since 1792. She has selected excerpts from over 150 novels, stories, poems and essays that sing the city’s human and natural terrain, plumb its past, and question its prevailing mythologies.

Writers take us beyond the city’s familiar stereotypes of cowboys and oil barons and reveal Calgary’s multiple worlds and its interiors. They explore the city’s perpetual motion of extreme, unpredictable weather and a boom-and-bust economy. Through writers’ eyes, we travel into the inner sanctums of the oil patch, and see the layers of the world-famous Calgary Stampede. Coming-of-age stories show the way this place shapes identity; poems and prose tease meaning and metaphor from a city perched on the dynamic edge of prairie and foothills.

Alongside each excerpt, Hunter presents delightful and informative connections between place and story. A timeline anchors the passages and marks significant moments in its literary history. Maps and an index invite readers to find their own trails through a complex and storied city.

About the Author(s)

Shaun Hunter has shared her passion for Calgary’s literary landscape on guided walks, presentations, and her blog, and as a member of the Calgary reading circle for Project Bookmark Canada. She is the author of five biographies for young readers. Her essays, many set in Calgary, have appeared in the Globe and Mail, carte blanche, Geist and FreeFall, as well as in the anthologies Embedded on the Home Front: Where Military and Civilian Lives Converge, and Writing Menopause. In 2013, her essay, “Skin Deep” was a finalist for Alberta’s James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction. Shaun has a BA in English literature from Smith College and an MA in Canadian Studies from Carleton University. She writes, reads and turns up literary treasures in Calgary, Alberta. You can find her at


“While Canada seems so polarized over politics and the general reputation of Alberta as a whole, this book is a much-needed reminder of everything we have in common, bringing people together, literally onto the same page. Rather than dividing us based on opinion, the history of this once-small and rugged town places everyone on the same plain (pun intended), forcing us all to reckon with the highs and lows of living in the ‘wild west’.” – I’ve Read This

“This book should be required reading for all Albertans because it highlights how far we’ve come, and all we can accomplish when we work together.” – I’ve Read This

“…by reading this book start to finish over a few days, I was left with a clear picture of Calgary’s evolution: truly a wonderful way to view the city.” – I’ve Read This Blog

“Clearly a wealth of research has gone into this literary anthology which any bookworm can appreciate, no matter your reading preference. But for those who live here, there’s a certain feeling of coziness that comes along with reading a story set among local landmarks- a sense of relevance and familiarity is imbued between the lines of every single piece in this book.” – I’ve Read This Blog