James Houston Obit.

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James Houston (1921-2005)

In 1948 Houston made a life-changing decision . He was on a trip with a bush pilot to a remote Inuit village. When the plane returned south he stayed, using his artistic skill ( he was a graduate of the Ontario College of Art) to communicate until he had learned the language. In the end he stayed in the Arctic for fourteen years. After he had left he used his experiences and his knowledge of the people, the animals, and the landscape as a basis for his literary work.
He wrote for children as well as adults. He wrote retellings of Inuit folklore ( Tikta'liktak, Akavak etc), he retold Northwest Coast First Nations legends, and he wrote adventure stories set in the contemporary North - Frozen Fire, Black Diamonds, and Whiteout.
His knowledge of the North and his skill as a storyteller made his books very popular, for they introduced new ideas and broke new ground in children's literature in this early period. He was named to the Order of Canada in 1972. He won the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award in 1966, 1968 and 1980 (Tikta'liktak , The White Archer , River Runners) and also the Vicky Metcalf Award for a body of work in 1977.

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on June 16, 2005 6:53 AM.

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