2024 Festival:
October 21–27
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Wade Davis in Conversation

Presented in partnership with SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs.

Travel into the heart of humanity with one of the foremost thinkers of our time. Wade Davis’s awe-inspiring career includes being the renowned author of 23 books, Professor of Anthropology, Member of the Order of Canada, and former Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. He joins the Vancouver Writers Fest with a new collection that dives into a timely and eclectic array of topics from across the planet. 

The essays in Beneath the Surface of Things came about during the unhurried months when one who had traveled incessantly was obliged to stay still, even as events flared on all sides in a world that never stops moving. Davis brings his unique cultural perspective to such varied topics as the demonization of coca, the sacred plant of the Inca; the Great War and the birth of modernity; the unraveling of America; reaching beyond climate fear and trepidation; and the meaning of the sacred. 

Described as a “true wayfinder” (John Vaillant) and “fearless explorer in the intellectual world, as in the physical” (Washington Post), Davis is sure to ignite your curiosity. He speaks with award-winning journalist Laura Lynch, host of CBC’s What On Earth.

Books will be for sale at the event courtesy of Upstart & Crow.

Participants and Speakers

Wade Davis

WADE DAVIS is currently Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia and was Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society from 2000 to 2013. His 23 books, published in 22 languages, include One River, The Wayfinders and Into the Silence, winner of the 2012 Samuel Johnson prize, the top nonfiction prize in the English language. He lives on Bowen Island, B.C.

Laura Lynch

LAURA LYNCH is a journalist and host who has won the prestigious Nieman fellowship from Harvard University, awards from the British Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association, and Amnesty International, among others. She is the host of What on Earth, a CBC Radio series covering climate change and climate solutions.