Stephen Atler wins Banff's Mountain Environment and Natural History Award for his work, Wild Himalayas
Alter's tome on the Himalayas is divided into eight sections, each one elaborating a different aspect of the vast mountain ranges from their origin and evolution to the glaciers, the flora and fauna and the human settlements thriving in the mountains.
Author and Fulbright scholar Stephen Alter has been announced the 2020 recipient of the notable Mountain Environment and Natural History prize, awarded each year as part of the Banff Mountain Book Competition.
Alter won the award for his 2019 work, Wild Himalaya: A Natural History of the Greatest Mountain Range on Earth (Aleph Book Company), along with a $2000 winner's purse sponsored by the Canadian Mountain Network.
A jury, comprising Helen Rolfe, Nandini Purandare and Pete Takeda announced the winners of the various book prizes on 26 October. Of Alter, Purandare said that he "becomes the voice of vast Himalayan range to tell us why Himalayan wilderness worth saving" all the while drawing out "the subject with story, myth, personal anecdote and oral history. His personal relationship with the mountain range is probably his secret ingredient. That he has made the Himalaya his home is evident."
Alter's tome on the Himalayas is divided into eight sections, each one elaborating a different aspect of the vast ranges from their origin and evolution to the glaciers, the flora and fauna and the human settlements thriving in the mountains.
Much of the award-winning author's works of fiction and non-fiction are centred on the Himalayan region, which has been his home for years. The memoir, Becoming a Mountain: Himalayan Journeys in Search of the Sacred and the Sublime and The Jungles of the Night: A Novel About Jim Corbett are among some of his notable works.
Alter will now be competing with seven other winners of the book prizes in categories such as Mountain Fiction and Poetry, Adventure and Travel and Climbing Literature for the 2020 Grand Prize which will be announced on 5 November as part of the virtual Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival.
The Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book festival will go on from 31 October to 8 November.
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