Mel Dagg of Sointula, born in Vancouver in 1941, is the author of three short story collections and a novel. With a Ph.D in Canadian literature from the University of New Brunswick, he has worked as a journalist and technical writer, and taught literature, in various parts of Canada. Raised on Vancouver Island, he worked as a young man as a deckhand on the ocean-going towboat Lloyd B. Gore. He and his wife divide their time between Mexico and Vancouver Island.

In his collection Four Wheel Drift (Thistledown $17.95), Dagg reveals his affinity for drifters, fishermen, and Natives. In Day on the Water, Wilson is a veteran guide at Wild Waves Fishing Tours. He takes two Americans in search of 40-pound Chinook salmon. In a bay crowded with boats, all they catch is someone else's line. When Wilson's boss explains his idea of clients fishing farmed salmon in a pool, it's the last straw. Wilson disappears up a secluded river, traveling back in his memory, back in time.

Dagg's novel Passage on the Cardena (TouchWood, 2012) has a coming of age theme. According to publicity materials: "In the summer of 1930, fifteen-year-old Matthew Clayton's mother dies, leaving him alone in Vancouver. Using the Union Steamship ticket she gave him, he sets out in search of his father, who is logging somewhere on the rugged West Coast. Matt boards the SS Cardena and begins an incredible voyage up the Inside Passage and through the isolated coastal communities the ship services. On board he befriends fellow passengers Monica James and the high rigger Will Cameron, both intent on finding a new life, and Emily Carr, a soon-to-be-famous painter searching for a new direction in her art. What each of them finds comes as a surprise as they journey aboard the legendary steamship Cardena."

Passage on the Cardena owes an uncredited debt to Navigating the Coast; A History of the Union Steamship Company, Sound Heritage Volume VI, No 2. (PABC, 1977).


Same Truck, Different Driver (Westlands, 1983)
The Women on the Bridge (Thistledown, 1992)
Four Wheel Drift (Thistledown, 2003) 1-894345-52-5
Passage on the Cardena (TouchWood, 2012) $19.95 978-1-927129-33-3

[BCBW 2012] "Fiction"