Blue Sky Kingdom a Finalist for the 2020 Banff Mountain Book Competition

Blue Sky Kingdom a Finalist for the 2020 Banff Mountain Book Competition

The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival has announced the finalists for its book competition, and Blue Sky Kingdom: An Epic Family Journey to the Heart of the Himalaya, by Bruce Kirkby, has been shortlisted in the Adventure Travel category.

Blue Sky Kingdom is a memoir that describes how Bruce, his wife, Christine, and their children (aged 3 and 7) went on a trek into the heart of the Himalaya. Embracing the idea of slow travel, they started their journey in two canoes in Kimberley, BC. They hopped on a shipping freighter to cross the Pacific, travelled through South Korea, China, India and Nepal by bus, train and riverboat, then traversed the Himalaya on foot. It was a journey that fundamentally changed Bruce’s relationship to the world and sense of connection with his family. It showed him the benefits of slowing down. And it taught him to accept his son’s diagnosis on the autism spectrum and embrace him for who he is.

Bruce Kirkby is a wilderness writer and adventure photographer recognized for connecting wild places with contemporary issues. With journeys spanning more than eighty countries and thirty years, Kirkby’s accomplishments include the first modern crossing of Arabia’s Empty Quarter by camel, a descent of Ethiopia’s Blue Nile Gorge by raft, a sea kayak traverse of Borneo’s northern coast and a coast-to-coast Icelandic trek. A columnist for The Globe and Mail, author of three bestselling books and winner of multiple National Magazine Awards, Kirkby has also written for The New York Times, Outside magazine and Canadian Geographic. He makes his home in Kimberley, BC.

The Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival celebrates mountain literature and film, bringing together filmmakers, writers, publishers, editors, photographers, athletes, adventurers, and – of course – readers. The book competition’s award winners will be announced in October and presentations will be part of the virtual festival, which will run from October 31 – November 8. The Grand Prize will be announced on Thursday November 5th. Bruce Kirkby will give a presentation at the festival, followed by a virtual conversation hosted by writer John Vaillant. Tickets for this event go on sale in early October.

The other shortlisted authors in the Adventure Travel category are The Adventurer’s Son by Roman Dial (HarperCollins); Journeys North: The Pacific Crest Trail by Barney Mann (Mountaineers Books); and Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition by Buddy Levy (St. Martin’s Press). Winners in this category receive $2000.