Born in Vancouver in 1945, and raised on Vancouver Island, retired Ottawa English teacher Tony Cosier has revisited his boyhood fascination with the parallel ancestries of European settlers and First Nations families for a trans-generational novel, Thunder River (Margaret Woods Books $14.95), set in a fictional town called Thunder River but shaped by B.C. history. Four linked novellas carry the reader from the gold rush era, through the Great War, through War World II, on past the year 2000, starting with a pioneer explorer who describes a Shuswap named Smoke descending upon a survey crew "like the coming of an ancient god"; in the 1880s. Cosier's fictional Nikaoman culture is modeled on the aboriginal people of the B.C. interior watershed. In the second story, a young Nikaoan named Matthew struggles with his identity in the early 20th century. In the third, a pacifist fights his own war at home in the mid-20th century. Descendants of those characters emerge for a contemporary, fourth-generation conclusion.

Cosier has written plays and published poetry nine poetry books including Clearwater Tarn (Penumbra), Kilmarnock (Penumbra 1994) and Landsinger (Penumbra 1989).


Thunder River (Margaret Woods Books, 2010).

[BCBW 2010]