Professor emeritus fulfills dream of publishing novel

Many books standing upright, pictured from above.

At the age of 81, Brian Slattery, a professor emeritus of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, has accomplished his longtime goal of publishing a novel with his forthcoming fantastical adventure Escape to Ponti (Fitzhenry & Whiteside/Red Deer Press, 2023).

Pictured, left: cover of the novel Escape to Ponti, created by Antonio Javier Caparo. Pictured, right: author Brian Slattery hiking on the Via Francigena.

“It was an ambition that never died,” says Slattery, proving it’s never too late to go after your dreams. “This book, however, is not the one that I’d have written when I was younger. It draws on personal experiences and adventures I’ve had throughout life, especially while hitchhiking around East and Central Africa in the six years I lived in Tanzania, and more recently while trekking along an ancient pilgrimage trail through France and Italy.”

Escape to Ponti, he says, delivers equal doses of thrills, comedy, and kung fu in a medieval Italian setting inspired by his years of research into the Mediterranean and its links with Asia. The book was written for readers aged 10 and up, but in the tradition of such classics as Treasure Island and Kidnapped, it can be enjoyed by adventure lovers of all ages.

“The novel has also been strongly influenced by kung fu movies from Hong Kong and China,” says Slattery. “Their distinctive mixture of action, comedy, physical prowess and lofty ideals is one that I’ve tried to emulate – and which my collaborator, Antonio Javier Caparo of Montreal, has brilliantly captured in his 22 illustrations for the book.”

Escape to Ponti is available for pre-order now at local bookstores and websites such as Amazon and Indigo. For more information, visit the author’s website.