In this episode of Art on the Island Maureen Bader talks to writer Erika Grundmann.  Erika and her husband came to Cortes Island 25 years ago because of a recommendation from a friend. Listen as Erika describes how she transitioned from medical research to writing, passing through a number of groundbreaking changes.

Erika published her first book, Dark Sun, in 2004. It is the story of George Dibbern (1889-1962), a sailor, visionary and philosopher, who wrote the book Quest.

Maureen Bader

Erika came upon the story of George Dibbern by accident. Listen as she discusses her challenge finding the book Quest and her growing interest in Dibbern’s story. Erika received much help from many people including the descendants of writer Henry Miller. Erika talks about her correspondence with other people interested in the life of Dibbern and how she met George Dibbern’s daughter.

Dibbern wrote his book Quest in BC in 1938. Erika describes how he came to BC, staying until 1939. Quest was published in 1941. Erika published an expanded reprint of Quest in 2008. You can order a copy from Erika at www.georgedibbern.com.

Who is George Dibbern? Erika describes how he was a man ahead of his time, a free thinker and believer in brotherhood and tolerance. He wanted to create his own future and promote the ideas of tolerance and world citizenship — for which he paid the price of being interned in NZ in both World Wars.  Henry Miller wrote “…when George Dibbern says a thing he means it, he acts on it.”  Dibbern was not influenced by societal views.

Erika talks about wanting to understand how a man could just up and leave his family. She also wanted to know what happened to him. This is what motivated her to do the research and find out more. In fact, he created his own passport because he thought of himself as a citizen of the world.

You can purchase Erika’s book Dark Sun, and Quest by George Dibbern, at georgedibbern.com. Erika also sells her books in the markets on Cortes Island during the summer.