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Author releases two books on local history at once

Local author Keith Powell is pleased with the simultaneous launch of his latest books, Abandoned Kootenays and Koocanusa Burning.

Both books hit the shelves on Nov 2.

Powell said Abandoned Kootenays is partly a follow-up to the success of his previous book.

Forgotten Cranbrook came out around this time last year and it really showed me the power of a book full of good images,” said Powell. “It sort of inspired me to take some of my own photography and put it together in a book called Abandoned Kootenays.”

Meanwhile, Koocanusa Burning is a historical novel about the South Country.

“It’s really about the human tragedy and the flooding of the South Country that was the result of the Libby Dam, which opened in 1975,” said Powell.

Koocanusa Burning has some fictional characters, but Powell said it documents real events that took place in the region.

“The South Country was probably the best farming land in the whole region, and there was a huge debate over whether the valley should be flooded out,” explained Powell. “It flooded out 42 miles of Canada and many families, farms and ranches were displaced.”

Powell explained his personal connection to the story.

“I grew up in the South Country, so this story is near and dear to my heart,” said Powell. “I went to school with a lot of the individuals who were displaced.”

Copies of the book can be found at most independent bookstores.

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