Local author Grant Shilling will visit the Courtenay Library to discuss his book Surfing with the Devil: In Search of Waves and Peace in the Middle East on Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m.
In February 2009 Shilling arrived in the Middle East with a knapsack full of wetsuits to deliver to the Gaza Surf Club. A year later on the crest of the Arab Spring, Shilling travelled to Egypt to meet the surfing Bedouins of Egypt.
Surfing with the Devil asks if surfing can be used as a grassroots peacemaker. This question was also fielded by an incredibly diverse group of surfers Shilling interviewed in California during the
week of 9/11 including: Sama Wareh, a young Syrian-American Muslim woman who surfs in a burqini; Rabbi ‘Shifty’ Shifren, aka The Surfing Rabbi; Mike Ali, a Muslim born in Jerusalem, Vietnam veteran, surfer and owner of the biggest surf shop in California;
Karma Tsomo Lekshe, a former Malibu pre-Gidget surf rider and Buddhist nun; Pat Farley, surfer and Vietnam veteran; Shaun Tomson, South African Jew and former world surfing champion and Dorian (Doc) Paskowitz, 91, the father of Israeli surf who
says: “God will surf with the devil if the waves are good.”
“In his captivating follow up to Cedar Surf, Grant Shilling goes global to investigate surf culture as a secret unifying force for humanity, and has here crafted a daring ode to the transformative power of that usually dismissed and disregarded human drive: fun. For surfers and shore-huggers alike, Surfing With the Devil dives down into the depths of what makes us truly human, and proves that in the midst of war and endless conflict, perhaps paddling out into the waves is the only reasonable act left.” — Michael Christie, author of The Beggar’s Garden (finalist for the Rogers
Writers Trust Fiction Award).
Grant Shilling is a writer, artist, surfer, and street outreach worker living in Cumberland.
For more information, visit the author’s website at www.surfingwiththedevil.com, drop by the library at 300 Sixth St., call 250-334-3369, ext. 2 or visit www.virl.bc.ca. This is a free
program and all are welcome.
— Courtenay Library