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Daniel Gawthrop

Photo: Aung Htwe Nyunt Saw 2012

Daniel Gawthrop was born in Nanaimo in 1963 and grew up there. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Victoria and a Journalism diploma at the University of King’s College, Halifax, he began his career as a newspaper reporter for the Hope Standard and Vancouver Sun and a freelance writer on current affairs, arts and politics. The first publisher/editor of Xtra! West, a gay and lesbian bi-weekly in Vancouver, he was also part of a writers group in the early 1990s that included such authors as Stan Persky, George Stanley, and Scott Watson.

His first book, Affirmation: The AIDS Odyssey of Dr. Peter (New Star, 1994) was a biography of CBC television's “AIDS Diary” host in B.C. that examines its subject’s life and achievement in the context of the socio-political times in which he lived. Daniel followed this up with Highwire Act: Power, Pragmatism and the Harcourt Legacy (New Star, 1996), a critical account of the New Democratic Party administration of Mike Harcourt, the party’s inner ideological struggle, and the difficulties of governing in the politically polarized province of British Columbia. His third book, Vanishing Halo: Saving the Boreal Forest (Greystone/the David Suzuki Foundation, 1999), was a portrait of the world’s coniferous crown, and a plea for restrictions to the harmful logging and mining practices that have threatened it. The Rice Queen Diaries (Arsenal Pulp, 2005) explores the political and cultural minefields of desire and ethnicity between white and East Asian men on both sides of the Pacific. His latest book, The Trial of Pope Benedict: Joseph Ratzinger and the Vatican’s Assault on Reason, Compassion, and Human Dignity (Arsenal Pulp, 2013), is a lament for the lost opportunity for change that Vatican II represented for the Roman Catholic faith and an indictment of the man who led the resistance to it.

Over the last decade, Daniel has published occasional essays online at and, as well as in the Georgia Straight while working full-time for the Canadian Union of Public Employees. He spends most of his time in Vancouver but also lived briefly in London, England and spent the first few years of the millennium in Bangkok, Thailand where he worked as a sub-editor at an English language daily newspaper, The Nation.

E-mail: c/o Writers' Union of Canada
Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada


The Trial of Pope Benedict: Joseph Ratzinger and the Vatican's Assault on Reason, Compassion, and Human Dignity. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2013
The Rice Queen Diaries. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2005
Vanishing Halo: Saving the Boreal Forest. Greystone/David Suzuki Foundation, 1999
Highwire Act: Power, Pragmatism, and the Harcourt Legacy. New Star Books, 1996
Affirmation: The AIDS Odyssey of Dr. Peter. New Star Books, 1994


Western Magazine Award for Western Living, "Whose Death Was It, Anyway?", 1994
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