The Next Chapter

Kate Pullinger on working in a copper mine in the Yukon

The author of Landing Gear and other fiction on the job she landed when she dropped out of university.
Kate Pullinger won the Governor General's Literary Award for her 2009 novel The Mistress of Nothing. Her most recent novel is Landing Gear.

Kate Pullinger, the author of Landing Gear, dropped out of university as a teenager and headed north to the Yukon. What did she do while she was there? The Governor General's Literary Award-winning author tells The Next Chapter all about it:

One of the first jobs I ever had was in a copper mine outside Whitehorse in the Yukon when I was 19 years old. I had dropped out of McGill University, where I had been having too much fun, as I like to say. My eldest sister was living in the Yukon with her family, and my brother-in-law worked at the mining company, and so he got me this job. I went to the Yukon and I spent the better part of a year crushing rocks in a lab to create ore samples. It was extremely well paid, and very, very boring. I used to spend most of the day calculating how much money I had made. And at the end of that time I took all that money and I went travelling for six months. I eventually ended up in London. It was a great Canadian job to have had!

Kate Pullinger's comments have been edited and condensed.