MEDICINE WALK

Richard Wagamese

…Out here where he spent the bulk of his free time there was no need for elevated ideas or theories or talk and if he was taciturn he was content in it, hearing symphonies in wind across a ridge and arias in the screech of hawks and eagles, the huff of grizzlies and the pierce of a wolf call against the unblinking eye of the moon. He was Indian. —from Medicine Walk

Franklin Starlight’s comfort in solitude and experience in the wilderness make him appear wise beyond his sixteen years. But when his ailing father,

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…Out here where he spent the bulk of his free time there was no need for elevated ideas or theories or talk and if he was taciturn he was content in it, hearing symphonies in wind across a ridge and arias in the screech of hawks and eagles, the huff of grizzlies and the pierce of a wolf call against the unblinking eye of the moon. He was Indian. —from Medicine Walk

Franklin Starlight’s comfort in solitude and experience in the wilderness make him appear wise beyond his sixteen years. But when his ailing father, Eldon, summons him back to town, Franklin’s sense of duty clashes with the deep resentment he feels for his father’s many years of absence and neglect. Finding Eldon near death after years of drinking, Franklin grudgingly agrees to help carry out his father’s final wish to be buried in the warrior way, deep in the rugged and starkly beautiful backcountry of British Columbia.

The ride into the wilderness transforms both men as Eldon shares his life story. From an impoverished childhood to his shell-shocked return from combat in the Korean War, Eldon depicts a hard life, a life common to many of his people. But along with these desolate recollections, Eldon shares his life’s fleeting moments of happiness and hope. And in telling his story, he offers his son an inheritance he never could have imagined.

A novel about the role of stories in our lives, Medicine Walk looks squarely into the dark corners of the soul, and into the human capacity for love and goodness. Written in luminous prose, and infused by an uncommonly rich sense of place, this extraordinary novel promises to establish Richard Wagamese in his rightful place as one of North America’s great indigenous novelists.

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  • Milkweed Editions
  • Hardcover
  • May 2015
  • 256 Pages
  • 9781571311153

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About Richard Wagamese

Richard Wagamese is one of Canada’s foremost writers, and one of the leading indigenous writers in North America. He is the author of eight previous novels and several acclaimed memoirs. He has won numerous awards and honors for his writing, including, most recently, the Canada Reads People’s Choice Award. He lives in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Praise

Richard Wagamese is a born storyteller.” —Louise Erdrich

“A powerful novel of hard men in hard country reminiscent of Jim Harrison's Legends of the Fall.” —Kirkus Reviews

“…feels less written than painstakingly etched into something more permanent than paper . . . there’s nothing plain about this plain- spoken book.” —New York Times

“Richard Wagamese has become a master. This brilliant novel is his heart song, his crowning achievement thus far.” —Joseph Boyden