Born in Penticton on February 9, 1922, Ernest Perrault was the older brother of Senator Ray Perrault. He spent 42 months in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Raised in Vancouver and influenced by Earle Birney at UBC, he wrote a thinly disguised novel based on the life of B.C. timber baron Gordon Gibson, The Kingdom Carver (1968), the fictional counterpart to Gibson's much later memoir called Bull of the Woods. Perrault used a rough 'n' ready protagonist named Dave Laird to recall Gibson's struggle to establish his logging operations near Klahosat in Clayoquot Sound.

His second novel The Twelfth Mile (1972) is a suspenseful tale about a West Coast towboat operator. A third adventure novel Spoil! (Doubleday, 1975) was partially derived from Perrault's five years in the Arctic making documentary films. At the peak of a global energy crisis, a mining engineer named Ian Danelock suddenly has an ecological disaster on his hands when an oil derrick 400 miles from the North Pole sends a geyser of flames 250-feet into the air.

While working mainly in public relations and advertising, Perrault also wrote feature-length film scenarios, radio and television documentaries and dramas. He was hired to write a corporate history called Wood and Water: The Story of the Seaboard Lumber and Shipping (Douglas & McIntyre, 1985).

Having worked for secretive Chinese Canadian millionaire Tong Louie, who developed the London Drugs business empire, and dozens of IGA grocery franchises in British Columbia, Perrault was hired to produce the biography Tong: The Story of Tong Louie, Vancouver's Quiet Titan (Harbour, 2002). The extensively illustrated and complimentary portrait was expanded by Perrault's publisher to reflect the difficulties, perseverance and accomplishments of Chinese Canadian society in British Columbia in the 20th century. It received the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award at the 2003 B.C. Book Prizes.

He died in his sleep on February 17, 2010.

[BCBW 2010] "Forestry" "Fiction" "Biography" "Chinese"

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Breaking the 'Silence': A Review of Tong: The Story of Tong Louie, Vancouver's Quiet Titan