Bernadette McDonald Sweeps Major Mountain Literature Prizes

The Canadian author’s book, Art of Freedom: The Life and Climbs of Voytek Kurtyka, has also garnered rave reviews from some of the most esteemed climbers and writers.

By Rock and Ice | November 29th, 2017

artoffreedom_ofc_485pxWhen she won the Mountain Literature (Non Fiction) award from the Banff Mountain Book Competition Awards recently for her 2017 book Art of Freedom: The Life and Climbs of Voytek Kurtyka, Canadian author Bernadette McDonald completed an awards-circuit hat trick. Before the Banff award, she also scooped up two other prestigious outdoor-centric literary prizes: a National Outdoor Book Award in the History/Biography category and the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature.

In Art of Freedom, McDonald delves into the life of the notoriously private Voytek Kurtyka— whose cooperation she had in writing the biography—the Polish mountaineer who pushed alpine style in the Himalayas with standard-setting ascents like the West Face of Gasherbrum IV in 1985 with Robert Schauer.

Jeff Long—winner of the Best Mountaineering Article from the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in 2016 for his article “Searching for Superman,” which appeared in Rock and Ice’s annual Ascent—writes about Art of Freedom:

Wonderfully strange, muscular, poetic at heart, and brimming with curiosity, Art of Freedom portrays the towering, but intensely reclusive Polish mountaineer, Voytek Kurtyka. By now I’ve come to expect Bernadette McDonald’s vivid writing style, her over-research (a high compliment,) and cosmopolitan insights. Once again, she raises the bar, pushing mountain literature to do what it does best: discover.

To read an excerpt from Art of Freedom, see Art of Freedom: The Life and Climbs of Voytek Kurtyka.  Art of Freedom is published by Rocky Mountain Books, and is vailable from online retailers, local bookstores,or direct from the publisher at rmbooks.com. Order today on amazon.com.

The Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Competition, announced earlier this month, wnet to Jim Herrington, for his book The Climbers (Mountaineers Books; USA, 2017). To see the full list of winners from the competition read Banff Mountain Book Competition Announces 2017 Category Winners. 

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