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Indian Horse


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"[Wagamese] is such a master of empathy . . . that what Saul discovers becomes something the reader learns, as well, shocking and alien, valuable and true." --JANE SMILEY
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About the Author

Richard Wagamese (1955-2017) was one of Canada's foremost writers, and one of the leading indigenous writers in North America. He was the author of several acclaimed memoirs and more than a dozen novels. He won numerous awards and honors for his writing, including the People's Choice winner of the national Canada Reads competition in 2013, for Indian Horse.


"Richard Wagamese is a born storyteller."--Louise Erdrich "[A] chillingly beautiful book . . . Wagamese's novel depicts the tragedies of residential schools (although they were more like child labor camps than schools) in the 1960s to '70s through the life of Saul Indian Horse, a young First Nations boy who escapes the horrors of the school through his passion for hockey."--Electric Literature Canadian Praise for Indian Horse "Indian Horse distills much of what Wagamese has been writing about for his whole career into a clearer and sharper liquor, both more bitter and more moving than he has managed in the past. He is such a master of empathy--of delineating the experience of time passing, of lessons being learned, of tragedies being endured--that what Saul discovers becomes something the reader learns, as well, shocking and alien, valuable and true."--Jane Smiley "An unforgettable work of art . . . Indian Horse finds the granite solidity of Wagamese's prose polished to a lustrous sheen; brisk, brief, sharp chapters propel the reader forward. He seamlessly braids together his two traditions: English literary and aboriginal oral. So audible is Saul's voice, that I heard him stop speaking whenever I closed the book."--National Post "One of the rarest sorts of books: a novel which is both important and a heart-in-throat pleasure."--Edmonton Journal "It is as a story of reconciliation that this novel reveals Wagamese's masterful subtlety. . . . In a single image, Wagamese complicates in blinding ways the entire narrative; in a single page, Indian Horse deepens from an enjoyable read to a gripping critique of Canada."--The Walrus "This book is so many things; it is a mystical tale; it is an ode to the good old hockey game and its power to lift players above their situations; it is a story of a system that fails and fails its children in horrifying ways; it is a story of healing. . . . A hopeful and beautiful book."--Guelph Mercury Praise for Medicine Walk "Less written than painstakingly etched into something more permanent than paper . . . Richard Wagamese bides his time, never rushing, calibrating each word so carefully that he never seems to waste a shot. . . . Though death saturates these pages, not a word here is lugubrious. Though revelations abound, there are no cheap surprises. . . . There's nothing plain about this plain-spoken book."--New York Times "A slim, beautiful, heart-wrenching novel . . . Richard Wagamese is a marvelous writer, and this is a treasure of a book."--Minneapolis Star Tribune "Wagamese has penned a complex, rugged, and moving father-son novel. His muscular prose and spare tone complement this gem of a narrative."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Richard Wagamese is a keen observer, sketching places or people elegantly, economically, all while gracefully employing literary insight to deftly dissect blood ties lingering in fractured families. . . . A powerful novel of hard men in hard country, reminiscent of Jim Harrison's Legends of the Fall."--Kirkus "A deeply felt and profoundly moving novel, written in the kind of sure, clear prose that brings to mind the work of the great North American masters like Steinbeck. But Wagamese's voice and vision are also completely his own, as is the important and powerful story he has to tell."--Jane Urquhart

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