Wild Fierce Life

Dangerous Moments on the Outer Coast

Joanna Streetly

Wild Fierce Life is a heart-stopping collection of true stories that blend life on the Pacific Coast with the life of a girl unfurling into a woman and learning how a landscape can change her. Author Joanna Streetly arrived on the west coast of Vancouver Island when she was nineteen, and soon adapted to a kind of life only a few Canadians can imagine: working on boats of all sorts, guiding multi-day wilderness kayak trips along the BC coast, and coping with remote living situations often without electricity or running water.

From a near-death experience while swimming at night to an enigmatic encounter with a cougar, these stories capture the isolation of living on the continental edge contrasted with the beachcomber’s delight and a sense of belonging among the ocean and the shore. Streetly’s vivid storytelling evokes a sincere respect for nature, both its fragility and its power.

Full of unflinching self-examination, unwavering attention to detail, and a fidelity to the landscape of Vancouver Island’s outer coast, these stories paint a rich portrait not only of a remote wilderness lifestyle but also of a woman learning to cope with the unexpected pleasures and dangers of the wild life.

“Joanna is a one-of-a kind writer and human whose stories in this collection take us deep into her amazing and inspiring life in the wilderness. Her lyrical style is at once deeply moving and transformative because she is able to peel back the layers of her experience with such candor, insight, self-reflection and honesty. It’s a powerful combination, one rife with poetry, that leaves her readers in awe and makes her one of my favourite Canadian writers.”

—Cori Howard, corihoward.com