Lawrence Hill’s low-slung voice, thoughtful approach and gracious manner belie the spectrum of success that he has and continues to achieve in his writing career. The author of nine books of fiction and non-fiction, Hill, 58, is currently front and centre with the six-part miniseries adaptation of his 2007 novel The Book of Negroes. Hill, the son of American immigrants – a black father and white mother – is rooted by his social activism and deep sense of caring about his fellow man. His parents, Daniel and Donna, co-founded The Ontario Black History Society (1978), a public Canadian organization focused on the history of people of African descent in Canada.
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It takes just three hours on the ground in Iceland before I find myself engaged in the sort of adventurous activity of which my mother would never approve. And really, I’m not sure her worries would be unfounded this time.
HERE I AM, 50 minutes from Reyjavik on Iceland’s west coast, an hour-long nap and bowl of steamy tomato soup under my belt post-flight, about to take off for an ATV ride that’s going to take me through icy creeks, up the side of mountains, and along the edge of the country’s longest fjord. It’s the best way to traverse Svinadalur Valley – make that one of the only ways; there are no roads here – not far from Hvalfjörður (population: 2, according to West Iceland’s tourism board), and so I ignore the inner mom voice and pull on a prison-orange, wind-shielding jumpsuit, a thick pair of gloves and helmet, and climb into the driver’s seat.
Rivka Green and Mary Yarussi are honoured to have worked under the leadership of Dr. Joseph Herbert, renowned for his work at the MS Comprehensive Care Center at Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center in New Jersey (barnabashealth.org). As coordinators of many of the research programs that Dr. Herbert was involved in, Rivka and Mary have provided me with the most up-to-date information on MS.