Anthony (Tony) Reynolds was born on the edge of the Canadian prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His mother, Norah, was the first white child born in the area of northern Saskatchewan where her father, a Presbyterian minister, rode horseback to his scattered congregations. Her grandfather, an immigrant from Scotland in 1871 at the age of 27, and on whom the principal character in this novel is based, wrote 30,000 words of letters back to Scotland over the next 30 years, chronicling the opening of the Canadian West. Tony won a scholarship to Princeton University to study Chinese history. A fascination with Asia led him to India (the Maoist Cultural Revolution was in full swing making China inaccessible), initially to do volunteer work which morphed into contracts with Canadian newspapers. Seven years later, after nearly being expelled for revealing that India was on the verge of making nuclear weapons, he returned to Canada. In a total career change, he joined the Finance Ministry in the Government of Canada and then the Industry Department, rising to the rank of Assistant Deputy Minister. He was appointed the Executive Director of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, a five year, $50 million examination of the issues that will determine the future of Canada's indigenous peoples. Pursuing a life-long interest, Tony and his wife, Rachel, bought an organic farm on Vancouver Island and tilled the land for a dozen years. They continue to live in Comox, where he writes, bikes and volunteers many hours with L'Arche, an NGO supporting adults with developmental disabilities.Read more Read less
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