Author and historian Elizabeth Gillan Muir will be doing author talks and book signings this month in Campbell River.
She will make presentations on two recent books about women in aviation – Canadian Women in the Sky: 100 years of flight published by Dundurn Press for teens and adults; and Air-Crazy, fascinating stories about Canadian women in the air published by Another Chapter Publishing for kids 8+.
The books tell the stories of how Canadian women broke through the sky-blue ceiling, first as passengers on planes, then as pilots and stewardesses, and finally as astronauts.
Both books include Maryse Carmichael, the first and only woman to head the Snowbirds.
Muir’s books also tell the stories of West Coast aviation celebrities such as Olive Stark, an early Canadian female passenger; Alys McKey Bryant, the first woman to pilot a plane in Canada; “The Flying Seven,” women pilots who tried to enlist in the RCAF during World War II; and Elsie MacGill, the first woman in the world to invent a plane that flew.
There are several opportunities to meet Muir. She will be at the Museum at Campbell River on Saturday, June 11, from 1-2:30 p.m. and at the Comox Air Force Museum on Friday, June 10, in the afternoon and early evening (for details, call 250-339-8162).
Muir’s first published work was when she was 10.
She had a short article on marsh hens in a children’s magazine, Child Life, and was given $1 by the publisher. She has non-fiction stories in children’s magazines in Canada, Great Britain, Australia and the United States, although much of her writing is for adults. She has recently published a history of part of Toronto: Riverdale: east of the Don.
Originally from a farm in the Ottawa Valley, Muir spent most of her adult life in Montreal and Toronto, but she calls Vancouver Island “God’s country” and tries to visit her daughter and son-in-law who live here as often as she can.
She is a graduate of Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, the Harvard Business School and McGill University in Montreal where she earned a doctorate in history.
The cost of the talk at the Museum at Campbell River is $7. For more information about this talk contact the Museum at Campbell River at 250-287-3103 or www.crmuseum.ca