Ottawa Launch of the Big Swim, Coming Ashore in a World Adrift by Carrie Saxifrage

2015 13 Apr
5:30pm - 7:30pm
Ottawa Launch of the Big Swim, Coming Ashore in a World Adrift by Carrie Saxifrage

According to George Marshall, author of Don’t Even Talk About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change, psychology tells us that decisions are made in our emotional brains which respond to stories and metaphors that draw upon experience. But the facts about climate change are currently presented to us in terms of scientific data. The conversations that our society needs to inspire climate action first require stories that can turn scientific data into emotional gold.

Carrie Saxifrage wrote The Big Swim with the intention that it become a tool to broaden the climate change conversation and root it in the deep commitment that arises from emotional engagement. Saxifrage recounts unusual adventures while weaving in both the facts of climate change and perspectives that inspire a sense of personal choice.

The Big Swim include 12 engaging essays combing memoir, science and natural history. It offers a charming entrée into difficult issues, and chronicles a life shaped by climate change.

Each story recounts a personal experience or encounter and explores a significant topic such as sustainable forestry, nature -centered philosophy or First Nations culture. Carrie is able to introduce serious topics to readers through the use of witty, adventure and lyricism, while at the same time encouraging the possibility for great personal satisfaction with lower environmental impacts.

About the Author

Carrie Saxifrage is a non-scientist who is an open water swimmer, life-long backpacker, kayaker, cyclist and bus traveler who has shaped her life to accommodate climate change by committing to a low carbon lifestyle since 2006. She is a journalist and author whose work on First Nations responses to the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline has garnered significant critical acclaim. 

This event is part of Carrie's across country book tour for her first book, The Big swin.

Monday, April 13 2015
Raw Sugar Cafe
692 Somerset St. W.

"A stunningly beautiful memoir about a world that I love. Carrie Saxifrage is a poet not just of the natural world but also of the heart, and reading her book is like walking through these landscapes with a wise and knowledgeable guide; with every chapter you turn a corner onto another unexpected and breathtaking vista. She has a keen, compassionate eye for human foibles, and I found myself laughing out loud on one page and brushing away tears on the next. I read straight through. I did not want this journey to end" - Ruth Ozeki, 2013 Finalist for the Booker Mann Prize for A Tale for the Time Being, author ofAll Over Creation and My Year of Meats

"In a flash of inspiration, Carrie Saxifrage has invented the climate change memoir. Beautifully crafted, often touching and unexpectedly funny, here is your handbook to living deeply in perilous times" - J.B. MacKinnon, author of The 100-Mile Diet and The Once and Future World

"Trying to understand what we are doing to the planet based solely upon facts and statistics fails to engage the heart, where all true commitment forms. Carrie Saxifrage knows that real change comes from the head and the heart working together and gently pulls us along on her journey to a deeper place of understanding." - Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, Council of Canadians and author of Blue Future:  Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever

"The Big Swim is a riveting read. Carrie Saxifrage takes us with her to some of the west's most precious wild gems while reflecting on parenting, life, love, the beauty around us and it's fragility.  It's Eat, Pray, Love for the climate era. I couldn't put it down."  - Tzeporah Berman, author of This Crazy Time

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