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Lakeland: Ballad of a Freshwater Country, is co-published by Greystone Books/Douglas & McIntyre and the David Suzuki Foundation.

Lakeland has won Canada’s 2010 Governor General’s Award for non-fiction!

The book has been nominated for some other awards too: in the non-fiction category of the Saskatchewan Book Awards; for the Edna Staebler Award for Literary Non-fiction.

Review excerpts are below, with links to the full text where available. Also, check out my publisher’s page. If you’ve read Lakeland, please consider writing your own review on any of your favourite online booksellers’ web sites: Amazon, Chapters-Indigo, McNally Robinson.

Now, on with the reviews…

This book takes readers on an enchanting and enlightening journey across Canada, exploring a quintessential element of the Canadian landscape and its very soul – lakeland. With his gentle, exquisite and sometimes playful prose, Allan Casey conveys a powerful message about the value of Canada’s lakes, introduces us to the people who cherish them, and offers both a celebration of and lament for these precious and oft-abused natural treasures. –Jury comment, Governor General’s Literary Award

“…Once I started the book, I could not put it down. Allan Casey’s love of lakes is infectious, and in many ways, it parallels my own. A long-term lover of lakes can see many of the things that professional scientists measure and quantify and can reach very similar conclusions.” –Dr. David Schindler, Canadian Geographic

“Ever since I landed in Canada, more than half a century ago, I have been looking for the book to send home to let my siblings (and now my nieces and nephews) know what kind of country I live in….a narrative that would touch on all the things I wanted to tell them about, the landscape, the politics, the peoples and their ways of life—an introduction to the country, told in a personal voice. I couldn’t find such a book, and concluded that what I was looking for did not exist. It does now. Lakeland is a book to give to every visitor from the old country, whatever country that might be.”  –Eric Wright, the Literary Review of Canada.

“An original, lively and very enjoyable contribution to the ongoing discussion about the essential nature of our country.” –Sharon Butala, author of The Perfection of the Morning

“Engaging, entertaining, and hugely interesting . . . Casey has an open-hearted way of engaging the land and the people he encounters there and he retains the capacity to be continually fascinated by all he sees.”  –Bill Robertson, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix and National Post

“Lakeland is closely observed, smart, evocative, and personal. It’s natural history writing at its best.” –Rick Boychuk, former editor of Canadian Geographic

“Casey wanted to know how other lakes across Canada are faring and to discover the real condition of Lakeland. By visiting 10 lakes across Canada and meeting with ordinary people who live and work on lakes, he gauges the quality of their lives and how the lake has changed over time…the Chapters are eminently readable and they provide a fine beginning place to appreciate lakes we may never visit but whose environmental and economic health is vital to the overall well-being of Lakeland.” – Ian Stewart, Winnipeg Free Press

“In prose as crystal clear as the waters of Great Slave Lake, Allan Casey invites us to take a new look at the landscape, and see all of it with fresh eyes.” –Wayne Grady, author of The Great Lakes

“Allan Casey peers deep into Canada’s lakes and sees himself, a nation, and human nature reflected there. A heartfelt and compelling adventure, Lakeland rings both sweet and true.” –Brian Payton, author of The Ice Passage and Shadow of the Bear

“Allan Casey has taken a long look into the Canadian love affair with lakes.  In the process, he has written a book that should end up on the shortlist for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.” –Andrew Armitage, Owen Sound Sun Times

“I always wanted to write a book about lakes, and our persistent Canadian love affair with them, but I’m striking it off the list. Allan Casey is a passionate and entertaining writer, and no one could improve upon his exploration of this enigmatic subject.” –Jake MacDonald, author of Grizzlyville and Houseboat Chronicles


  1. Lakeland – Bravo! Encore – can hardly wait.

  2. Pingback: A great day for SK writers! « This hot place

  3. Allan,
    Congratulations on winning this award, fellow UWO class of 89 grad. I have just read the synopsis of Lakeland, and now must read your book. I, too, am bothered by the dwindling access to our waterfronts as they become more and more “gentrified.” All the best. Enjoy your award!

  4. Linda! It is really nice to hear from you. Thanks for the nice words. Send me an email and tell me what you have been doing.


  6. Hi Allan! I just read about your receiving the 2010 Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction! Congratulations! Kevin and I are so pleased for you. As lake lovers (aren’t we all?), we look forward to reading it and I’m sure Hannah will be interested, too.

  7. Hi Allan,

    It wasn’t so long ago that you told me that you had written a book entitled Lakeland. Just yesterday…perhaps the day before, Marlene told me that you had one a very prestigious award. Congratulations. I have read many of the reviews and they are top notch. I am looking forward to buying a copy so that I can read it myself. Marlene is a little more than tickled about the pilgrimage to New York. I hope that you guys have a great time. Fantastic news! Take care!

    Craig Edwards

  8. Pingback: Disappearing into Lakeland | love letters to strangers

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