Coming this October – something to warm you from the inside-out, as the mercury drops - Stephen Vogler‘s new book, Only in Whistler: Tales of a Mountain Town. “If I found myself laughing at some part of the writing day,” says Vogler, of writing this book, “I figured I was hitting the mark.
The book, which took Vogler a year to write, “following 32 years of intensive research”, offers the kind of insider’s view that not many people can offer in Whistler. In a town where a person’s credibility is contingent on how long they’ve managed to live there, Vogler has seen 34 seasons turn, enough to give him the immersion necessary to scribe authoritatively about the community that lies, layered beneath the outerskins of marketing gloss, transient residents, and institutional amnesia. ”I don’t think my idea of Whistler has changed much since 1994 when the first pieces for Whistler Features were written,” says Vogler. “It’s still a place with a very glossed-over corporate veneer––which is what most people think of when they think of Whistler––while beneath that lies this seething mass of eccentric characters and stories that truly characterizes the place. It’s those characters and their stories that I dug into in this book.”
Anyone who has read Vogler’s debut collection, Whistler Features, knows how funny he can be. And anyone who has Top of the Pass on their coffee table knows he also has a great eye for character and a poetic perspective, capturing a place with the help of local photographers Bonny Makarewicz and Toshi Kawano “where gravity drives the economy and the lifestyle.”
The biggest difference between Top of the Pass and Vogler’s newest offering, Only in Whistler, is that this one has no pictures.
Says Vogler, “It’s all storytelling. In the last one, because it was a pictorial essay as well, I had to step back a bit with the writing so that the photos could tell part of the story, almost like a script. With this one I just dug into all the stories of growing up here and all the eccentric characters I’ve gotten to know over the last thirty-odd years. It begins in 1976 when I was 12 years old and we moved to Whistler. “