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TouchWood Editions is pleased to announce that Michael Layland’s A Perfect Eden has been shortlisted for two prestigious BC Book Prizes: the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award. The announcement was made on March 7, 2017.

A Perfect Eden: Encounters by Early Explorers of Vancouver Island is a compelling history of the earliest explorers to what is now the Pacific Northwest, in which Layland recounts the events of European discovery of the Gulf Islands, the San Juan Islands, and of course, Vancouver Island. 

“Layland is the perfect guide. He has read everything about Vancouver Island from 1774 to 1862, and delivers the choicest morsels from hundreds of log books and diaries. He introduces us, in pictures and stories, to the people whose names we live with every day . . . and takes us with them as they charted these waters and measured the land . . . This book is my top pick.” (Times Colonist)

For the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize, which is “awarded to the author(s) of the book which contributes the most to the enjoyment and understanding of the province of British Columbia,” Layland was shortlisted alongside David Pitt-Brooke for Crossing Home Ground, Neil J. Sterritt for Mapping My Way Home, Christopher Pollon for The Peace in Peril, and Anthony Kenyon for The Recorded History of the Laird Basin 1790–1910. (

For the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award, which is “presented to the originating publisher(s) and the author(s) of the book that is the most successful in terms of public appeal, initiative, design, production and content,” the finalists include Richard Wagamese for Embers, Aaron Chapman for The Last Gang in Town, Roy Henry Vickers for Peace Dancer, and Wade Davis for Wade Davis: Photographs. (

“I feel honoured for being shortlisted again for these prestigious awards,” says Layland, whose debut book, The Land of Heart’s Delight: Early Maps and Charts of Vancouver Island, was also shortlisted for the 2014 Bill Duthie Bookseller’s Choice Award. 

These are the 32 BC Book Prizes, which were established in 1985 to celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers. Seven prizes are awarded anually at the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala. 

For more information about the prizes, visit To learn more about A Perfect Eden, visit 

PUBLICITY: For more information or to receive a review copy, please contact TouchWood Editions at

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