A local author has published a collection of Emily Carr quotes, just in time for the 150 anniversary of Emily Carr’s birthdate.  

As an award-winning journalist, Laurie Carter has dedicated the past decade of her life to researching and writing about Emily Carr. Her popular trilogy, Emily Carr’s B.C., takes readers along on Emily Carr’s travels over 20,000 km of British Columbia, discovering some of the province’s best-loved destinations along with little-known outposts.  

Wanting to do something to commemorate Emily Carr’s 150 birthday, Laurie got the idea for the collection after researching quotes to use to inscribe her trilogy, that one of her friends bought for their daughter’s 18 birthday. “The thought occurred to me at the time that I was going through all of that, wow, maybe other people would appreciate having a collection,” she says.  

Laurie started doing research for the collection in October, re-reading all of Emily Carr’s books and going through all the rest of the documents she had collected over the past decade. As her previous books had focused on travel, Laurie says it was interesting to take in the material with a different lens. “I was really reading everything with a completely different eye this time and I learned so much more,” she says. “It’s really interesting when you come at it from a different angle, a different perspective, different things leap out at you as you’re reading.” 

Laurie found the hardest part in putting together the collection, called Timeless Emily Carr, was picking which quotes to include in the small 140-page book. She found hundreds of insightful quotes on everything from art and writing to nature, spirituality, life and death. When it came down to it, Laurie chose quotes that not only showcased Emily Carr’s character, wit and humour, but could serve as inspiration and provide value to readers. Each quote is also augmented by a short narrative about Emily Carr and her life at the time the quote was written. 

Laurie is adamant that Emily Carr is an excellent role model for young women, as a trailblazer of her time and someone who always went after her dreams. “One of my favourite quotes of hers in the book is: ‘It does not matter a hang what others do or say. The only think that counts is if we are true to our own ideals and try to express them,’” she says. “I just think that’s vitally important to young women.”  

According to Laurie, she is also a great example of someone who didn’t let age stand in her way. She was a continuous learner and didn’t publish her first book until she was 70. “When other people were thinking about taking it easy, she was starting on a whole new path. Laurie hopes the collection will serve as an introduction to Emily Carr’s work and inspiration to people of all ages. “I think many of the quotes could bring comfort,” she says. “I would like people to know more about Emily. I would like them to look at this and think, wow, I’d like to know more about what she had to say.” 

Timeless Emily Carr is set to be released on April 6 and is now available for pre-order at independent bookstores, chain retailers, and online through Indigo. There are also already a few signed copies at the Merrickville Book Emporium


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