Soliski, Jim 1961–

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Soliski, Jim 1961–

PERSONAL: Born January 13, 1961, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: University of Alberta, B.A., 1986. Politics: "Right of center."

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Western Publishing, Box 41, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2G9, Canada. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Writer. Owner of a restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 1993–95; freelance writer, 1997–. Barrel Taxi, taxicab driver, 1997–. CKUA-FM radio, volunteer writer; worked as a hockey coach, 1987–89.

AWARDS, HONORS: Grant from Alberta Foundation for the Arts.


Does Your Meter Work?! (travel book), Western Publishing (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 2004.

Volunteer script writer for daily arts and culture guide feature, CKUA Radio, Edmonton. Comedy writer for Edmonton radio programs. Author of travel columns for weekly and monthly newspapers. Contributor to periodicals, including Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, San Francisco Examiner, St. Petersburg Times, American Express, Providence Journal, Travelers' Tales, and Outpost.

SIDELIGHTS: Jim Soliski told CA: "I have a couple years' experience at being forty. Earlier in life, writing was unsuitable because there was always another weekend tournament, another cover charge to pay, another fox telling me that she was washing her hair. In other words, I was too busy being twenty-something. Still, the thought of writing hectored me until one night, about a week into the book, after umpteen laps around my Filipino beach hut mumbling 'Write the first word and you can never go back. Will you see it through?,' I began.

"I've traveled and worked in about forty-five different countries. This wanderlust resulted from a summer job at a cardiac rehabilitation laboratory, where I worked among a United Nations list of medical personnel. Listening to their stories and exchanges of far-off lands so unlike my rural prairie beginnings gelled my belief that the most interesting people were those who had traveled.

"I managed a B.A. in English literature, never forgetting my luck at studying under such accomplished, sage professors. So many years later, a couple of them dove into Does Your Meter Work?! as if they had written it themselves. In Canada I created, operated, then peddled off a fast-food restaurant that served sixteen different toppings on baked potatoes, imported goods from Asia, drove a cab, and sold everything from plastic bags to real estate. In New Zealand I partnered in a nuts-and-candies business. In England, and dead broke, I washed dishes, got fired from a bakery because 'six foot and fourteen stone is too big,' and sold space on an information service that had no hope of working. In Taiwan and Vietnam I taught English.

"I speak French rather well, enough Ukrainian to make my Baba laugh out loud, and adequate Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese to get my face slapped. I like to play fastball, hockey, golf, go hunting and fishing, take pictures, cook, and constantly scheme my next trip."