FURST, Jan




Author Tags: Fiction

Jan Furst is a retired Naval Architect and Marine Engineer, living on Bowen Island. Born in Oslo, Norway on January 16, 1913 and educated at the University of Danzig (now Gdansk), he worked in the Shipbuilding Industry in Norway and Canada for many years, then as a consultant to the offshore oil and marine industries in Canada, Indonesia, United States and Bahamas. He was a commissioner on the Royal Commission on the Ocean Ranger Disaster and now volunteers for marine related activities. He has an honorary doctorate from Memorial University of Newfoundland. In 1931 he published his first book: “Kajakksport og Kajakkbygging,” a treatise on the construction and use of kayaks. He has a life-long interest in old Norse sagas and pre-Columbian North American history and culture. He came to Canada in July of 1962. He came to British Columbia in 1989. Furst is a member of the Canadian Authors Association, Vancouver Branch, and has attained his CTM from Toastmasters International, Club #4038. He is an active member of the Bowen Island community.

Furst is the author of an adventure novel Thorfinn Thorhallson's Saga (Mobilewords Limited, Newfoundland; July, 2000), published to coincide with the 1000th anniversary of Leif Ericksen's estimated discovery of North America. It concerns the Nordic inhabitants of the northern-most settlement in Greenland known as the West Settlement that was first founded abandoned around 1350. Furst's central character Thorfinn Thorhallson, born around 1317, is named for the Norse explorer Thorfinn Karlsefni. Thorfinn and an Inuit friend named Maku are captured and taken to Spain where they become galley slaves. Freed 12 years later, they reach a Norse settlement in Russia, then flee Europe with an Icelander named Vifil due to the spread of the Black Death plague. Thorfinn and Maku reach Greenland via Iceland.

[BCBW 2003] "Fiction"