Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

Knight Wins the Woodcock Prize

May 22, 2017

Congratulations to Rolf Knight who has been named this year's winner of the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for a BC writer with a long and meritorious career.

I keep two of Knight's books close to hand. His Indians at Work is a compendious account of the Aboriginal labour force in BC, pathbreaking when it first appeared from New Star Books in 1978 and reissued, with an index, thank god, in 1996. Along the No. 20 Line (New Star, 1980, 2011) is part memoir, part history, part oral history, an account of the Vancouver waterfront organized around the route of one of the city's early east-end streetcars.

Most recently Knight published his life story, Voyage Through the Past Century, again from New Star, which reveals him to be an academic maverick, an outsider by temperament, and a highly original thinker. All admirable qualities for a writer.