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Unrepentant author Gary Wright reads at Nelson Library

Unrepentant follows Wright through his decades playing music and all that went with a free-spirit lifestyle
Gary Wright will be reading from his his biography at the Nelson Library on March 22.

Gary Wright is unrepentant. Lovers of books, politics, and subversity can find out why at a reading from Wright’s rollicking 2012 biography Unrepentant on Thursday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Nelson Public Library.

Wright is known locally as the former long-time mayor of New Denver. If that is remarkable in itself, so is Wright’s story. An American college student in the 1960s, Wright became involved in the anti-Vietnam war movement, becoming active with Students for a Democratic Society. The U.S. State Department revoked his passport and put him on the FBI’s watch list. Wright began planning a move to Canada.

Unrepentant begins with those heady protest years and follows Wright through his decades playing music and all that went with a free-spirit lifestyle: sex, drugs, and rock and roll, all of which eventually led him to politics. His entrance in civic politics began when, working as New Denver’s janitor, he was encouraged to run for a seat on council. It was a short step to become New Denver’s straight-spoken mayor, a post he held for 22 years.

“Life is weird,” says Wright. “One year in one country I am wanted by the FBI; another year in another country I receive a medal for public service, and get a letter of commendation from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Same man, same beliefs. Go figure.”

Unrepentant is a word Wright applies both to his community and to himself. Unrepentant, the book, is full of anecdotes about new-age gurus, roadhouse musicians and regional political figures such as RDCK Chair John Kettle and former provincial cabinet minister Corky Evans. Evans contributed a chapter about his own experiences in the anti-war movement.

Wright will read from his book and answer questions at what the Library expects to be a packed event.