New West author launches debut novel

A New Westminster author is presenting his debut novel with a special event at Renaissance Books on Nov. 15.

Patrik Sampler will be on hand from 7 to 9 p.m. for a reading, discussion and open mic as he launches his first novel, The Ocean Container.

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The Ocean Container is the story of an environmentalist accused of “economic terrorism” by a near-future Canadian government. In response, the activist flees to an encampment for vagrants, where he creates a home in a shipping container. There, he meets a number of strange characters including a clairvoyant, a man with two right eyes, and a troupe of performance artists.

The novel is experimental in form and tackles what Sampler calls a “mashup” of topics.

“First it’s about climate change and the hostility Canada has shown toward those wishing to do something about it,” he said in a press release. “It’s also about the role of artists at a time of political crisis. And it’s psychological, exploring the mind of a virtual prisoner.”

Sampler said the road to publication was “torturous,” but the book was picked up by U.S. publisher Ninebark Press, which he calls a “perfect match.”

“Ninebark is interested in writing that doesn’t fit neatly into one genre, and I think they appreciate the politics of The Ocean Container, too,” he said.

At the Renaissance Books event, Sampler will read from the novel and hold a discussion with the audience. There will also be an open mic session for everyone in attendance, and copies of The Ocean Container will be available for sale.

Renaissance Books is at 712B 12th St. Check out for more on the book or the author.

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