Local self publishes first book ‘The Geography of Belonging, A Love Story’

A blonde haired woman with glasses, wearing a sleeveless green blouse poses with a book against a forested background.
Cortes Island author Oriane Lee Johnston. Photo by Greg Osoba.
Greg Osoba - CKTZ - Cortes IslandBC | 09-08-2022
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First time author Oriane Lee Johnston published The Geography of Belonging, A Love Story through Cortes Island's independent Salmonberry Arts and Publishing in late July.

A multi-coloured book cover sits atop a wooden table top. It reads "The geography of belonging: a love story. Oriane Lee Johnston."

The jacket cover of The Geography of Belonging, A Love Story. Photo by Greg Osoba.

It's a memoir taking place in Zimbabwe and coastal British Columbia portraying her experiences and reflections on working with horses, playing music, building relationships, observing various cultures, and her own place in contemporary society.

Johnston has been living on rural Cortes Island for more than three decades and worked for several years as program director at Hollyhock Leadership Learning Centre. It was there where she was exposed to West African culture, when she convinced Nigerian drumming master Babatunde Olatunji to present a program back in 1990.

At the time, little did she know that years later she would find herself in Mozambique and Zimbabwe doing volunteer work with horses and people.

To go with her book, she's created a three-hour long music playlist on Spotify, available through her website, to accompany readers as they turn the pages of her full length work.

Johnston sits down with CKTZ News to explore her inspiration and insights in the interview below: