Award-winning author Taras Grescoe says the automobile almost ruined our greatest cities during the 20th century, and it will take a global transportation revolution to bring those cities back now. Grescoe will discuss his often provocative views and read from his latest book, Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile, August 6 at 8pm in the KTS Lecture Hall.

An advocate of public transportation and a proud “straphanger” — “I intend to remain one as long as my legs will carry me to the corner bus stop” — Grescoe acknowledges that, for many, public transportation “is the opposite of glamour… [but] it doesn’t have to be like this. Done right, public transport can be faster, more comfortable, and cheaper than the private automobile.”

Critics have praised Straphanger — “equal parts travelogue, polemic and urban operating manual” (Canadian Geographic) — as a “persuasive and urgent book” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune); “a marvelous investigation of urban transit whose thrust is neatly summarized in its subtitle” (Globe and Mail); and as “a book by somebody who loves cities for people who love them.” (National Post)

Straphanger won the Mavis Gallant Prize for Nonfiction, was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize as the best nonfiction published in Canada, and was long-listed for the B.C. National Nonfiction Prize. The book was also included in the Globe and Mail and annual lists of “best books of the year,” and as one of the year’s “Top Ten Books on Urban Planning, Design and Development” by

Grescoe’s Halifax talk is sponsored by the University of King’s College Master of Creative Nonfiction program and HarperCollins Canada.  Grescoe is this year’s HarperCollins Canada Writer in Residence at the King’s MFA program. During his time in Halifax, he will also meet with students in the program to discuss the art and craft of nonfiction writing.

Besides Straphanger, Grescoe is the author of four other nonfiction books, including Sacré Blues, The End of Elsewhere, The Devil’s Picnic and Bottomfeeder. He is also a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the Independent, and the National Geographic Traveler.

His talk at King's will take place Thursday, August 6 in the KTS Lecture Hall on the Second Floor of the New Academic Building beginning at 8 p.m.

For more information:

Don Sedgwick, Executive Director, MFA Program. 902.422.1271 ext. 282