With her partner and co-writer James MacKinnon, Alisa Smith has recounted their year-long attempt to eat only foods grown and produced within a 100-mile radius of their Vancouver apartment in The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating (Random House 2007). It received the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize at the 2008 BC Book Prizes.

Her first novel, Speakeasy (D&M 2017) takes place during World War II and follows Lena Stillman, a former (undetected) outlaw in the Bill Bagley gang during the Depression who switches sides of the law to work as an elite code-breaker at the Esquimalt base. Being in a position to know the nation's strategic secrets, she is assigned to find a spy at the base. Then her world turns topsy-turvy when her old underworld boss, Bagley, is sentenced to hang. The story is inspired by historical facts as there was an infamous bank robber in the 1930s named Bill Bagley. While the character Lena Stillman is fictional, Bagley did have a female accomplice, never named, who assisted on some of his heists. And Smith had a great aunt who worked as a code-breaker on the west coast during World War II. [SEE REVIEW below]


The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating (Random House 2007) co-author: James MacKinnon 978-0-679-31483-7

Speakeasy (D&M 2017) $22.95 978-1-77162-066-6

[BCBW 2017] "Health"