Wild Fierce Life

Dangerous Moments on the Outer Coast

Joanna Streetly

Unflinching and heart-stopping stories that evoke a respect for nature both in its fragility and its power.

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.