Montgomery, Charles 1968-
Montgomery, Charles 1968-
PERSONAL: Born 1968.
CAREER: Journalist and writer.
AWARDS, HONORS: Western Magazine Awards Best Travel/Leisure Feature, 2001, for “Coast Rage,” Vancouver magazine; Western Magazine Awards Gold Award for Best Article: B.C./Yukon, 2002, for “Psychedelic Renaissance,” Georgia Straight magazine; Western Canada Magazine Awards Best Arts and Culture Feature, 2003, for “Lowry’s Ghosts,” Vancouver magazine; American Society of Travel Writers Foundation Lowell Thomas Silver Award for Best U.S./Canada Magazine Travel Article, 2003, for “Storm Coast,” Canadian Geographic; Western Magazine Awards best travel feature, Canadian National Magazine Awards Silver for best travel story, both 2004, both for “Heaven Can Wait,” Western Living magazine; Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction, Hubert Evans Nonfiction Prize, BC Book Prizes, both 2005, both for The Last Heathen; Canadian National Magazine Awards Gold, 2005, for “Into the Megalopolis,” Explore magazine.
The Last Heathen: Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in Melanesia, Douglas & McIntyre (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 2004, also published as The Shark God: Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in the South Pacific, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor to the anthology Way Out There; contributor to periodicals, including Canadian Geographic and Western Living.
SIDELIGHTS: Charles Montgomery is a freelance journalist and author of The Last Heathen: Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in Melanesia, published worldwide as The Shark God: Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in the South Pacific. Montgomery recounts his experiences retracing a journey in Melanesia made by his great-grandfather, the Right Reverend Henry Hutchinson Montgomery, more than a century earlier. The author’s journey was sparked by his discovery of a book left by his great-grandfather containing old photographs and an account of his missionary journey. Once in the South Seas, Montgomery finds that the Melanesians no longer practice cannibalism, but they continue to blend their ancient rituals and myths with Christianity, sometimes creating new religions in the process. The author also details his journey to discover the culture’s ancient rituals and practice of shamanism. George Cohen, writing in Booklist, noted: “The . . . documentation and analyses of these people and their world is a haunting reading experience.” A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote: “Montgomery is a talented writer, and this tour is delivered in vivid, precise prose.” In a review in Geographical, Michael Moran referred to The Shark God as a “uniquely disturbing travel book [that] should be required reading for anyone with a sense of unease at the development of the modern world.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Booklist, March 15, 2006, George Cohen, review of The Shark God: Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in the South Pacific, p. 19.
Geographical, July, 2006, Michael Moran, review of The Shark God, p. 84.
Globe and Mail, (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 25, 2004, Simon Winchester, review of The Last Heathen: Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in Melanesia, p. D3; November 27, 2004, Martin Levin and H.J. Kirchhoff, “The Globe 100: Of All the Year’s Writings, Few Meet the Test,” p. D3; March 1, 2005, Rebecca Caldwell, “B.C. Writer Wins $25, 000,” p. R1.
Guardian (London, England), August 5, 2006, Kevin Rushby, review of The Shark God.
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2006, review of The Shark God, p. 394.
Library Journal, April 15, 2006, Joel Jones, review of The Shark God, p. 97.
New York Times Book Review, August 6, 2006, Holly Morris, review of The Shark God.
Publishers Weekly, May 1, 2006, review of The Shark God, p. 51.
Charles Montgomery Home Page, http://www.charlesmontgomery.ca (November 26, 2006).