Rogues and Rebels: Unforgettable Characters from Canada’s West
by Brian Brennan
Genre: Non-fiction, biography, history
Published by The University of Regina Press
Brian Brennan will be launching the republication of Rogues and Rebels in Calgary at Owl’s Nest Bookstore on Thurs. Oct. 8, 7-8:30 p.m.!
Biographical profiles of 32 larger-than-life Western Canadians – some from recent history, some from the distant past – who dared to be different. These were mavericks, iconoclasts, risk-takers and adventurers who threw away the rulebook, thumbed their noses at convention, and let their detractors howl.
It’s a sequel to Scoundrels and Scallywags, a book I published in 2002 that became a Canadian best-seller. In Canada, a book is commonly acknowledged to be a best-seller if it sells 5,000 copies. Scoundrels has sold more than 12,000 and is hailed by my wine-drinking buddies as one of the most successful books of regional history published in Canada during the first decade of the 21st century.
The characters in Rogues and Rebels include political leaders such as Ralph Klein and Tommy Douglas, social justice advocates such as Nellie McClung and Ruth Gorman, crusading journalists such as Heather Robertson and Gladys Arnold, entertainers such as Billy Cowsill and Shay Duffin, and the woman who co-invented the Bloody Caesar, which is now officially designated Canada’s national cocktail.
Updated brief biography:
I’ve been writing professionally for most of my adult life. I spent more than 30 years as a staff writer with daily newspapers in British Columbia and Alberta, and have been freelancing for the past 15. I have published 11 books of non-fiction and seen my byline in such publications as The New York Times, the Irish Times, The Globe and Mail, the National Post and the Toronto Star.
What Brian is working on now:
A book of celebrity profiles based on interviews I did during the 1970s and 1980s with such stars of stage, screen, literature and music as Tennessee Williams, Sophia Loren, Chuck Berry and Richard Harris.
Brian’s current reading recommendation:
Fred Stenson’s Who by Fire, the latest novel to deal with how Alberta’s oil and gas industry affects the people of the province. Great storytelling from an accomplished scribe who knows the industry and knows his fellow Albertans. (Fred Stenson has also been featured on Reading Recommendations.)