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Medicine Walk
Cover of Medicine Walk
Medicine Walk
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By the celebrated author of Canada Reads Finalist Indian Horse, a stunning new novel that has all the timeless qualities of a classic, as it tells the universal story of a father/son struggle in a...
By the celebrated author of Canada Reads Finalist Indian Horse, a stunning new novel that has all the timeless qualities of a classic, as it tells the universal story of a father/son struggle in a...
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  • By the celebrated author of Canada Reads Finalist Indian Horse, a stunning new novel that has all the timeless qualities of a classic, as it tells the universal story of a father/son struggle in a fresh, utterly memorable way, set in dramatic landscape of the BC Interior. For male and female readers equally, for readers of Joseph Boyden, Cormac McCarthy, Thomas King, Russell Banks and general literary.
    Franklin Starlight is called to visit his father, Eldon. He's sixteen years old and has had the most fleeting of relationships with the man. The rare moments they've shared haunt and trouble Frank, but he answers the call, a son's duty to a father. He finds Eldon decimated after years of drinking, dying of liver failure in a small town flophouse. Eldon asks his son to take him into the mountains, so he may be buried in the traditional Ojibway manner.
    What ensues is a journey through the rugged and beautiful backcountry, and a journey into the past, as the two men push forward to Eldon's end. From a poverty-stricken childhood, to the Korean War, and later the derelict houses of mill towns, Eldon relates both the desolate moments of his life and a time of redemption and love and in doing so offers Frank a history he has never known, the father he has never had, and a connection to himself he never expected.
    A novel about love, friendship, courage, and the idea that the land has within it powers of healing, Medicine Walk reveals the ultimate goodness of its characters and offers a deeply moving and redemptive conclusion.
    Wagamese's writing soars and his insight and compassion are matched by his gift of communicating these to the reader.

    From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author-

  • RICHARD WAGAMESE is one of Canada's foremost writers. He's been a newspaper columnist and reporter, radio and television broadcaster and producer, documentary producer, and the author of twelve previous novels, including Keeper'n Me and Indian Horse which was a recent Canada Reads Finalist. He is also the author of acclaimed memoirs, including For Joshua; the bestselling One Native Life; and, One Story, One Song, which won the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. He has won numerous awards and recognition for his writing. He leads writing and storytelling workshops across the country, and makes frequent appearances as a speaker. He lives in the mountains outside of Kamloops, B.C. The author lives in Kamloops, BC.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 9, 2015
    Canadian author and memoirist Wagamese (Indian Horse) has penned a complex, rugged, and moving father-son novel. Franklin Starlight, a 16-year-old Ojibway Indian, is summoned to the Canadian mill town of Parson’s Gap by his alcoholic father, Eldon Starlight, to discuss an important matter. Franklin goes reluctantly, since he has a dysfunctional and distant relationship with his dad. (Franklin was raised by a rancher identified only as “the old man.”) Eldon persuades Franklin to take him on a 40-mile journey to an isolated ridge to die (he suffers from a cirrhotic liver) so that he can be buried “in the warrior way.” Wagamese deftly weaves in the backstory as Eldon, racked with heartache and horror, relates different episodes from his past (when he’s lucid enough). Initially, Franklin is unsympathetic to his father’s plight, which seems to be caused by a lifetime of boozing and womanizing. However, as Eldon tells his tales, including that of his harrowing ordeal in the Korean War, which precipitated his chronic drinking, Franklin comes to see his father in a new light. Wagamese’s muscular prose and spare tone complement this gem of a narrative, which examines the bond between father and son.

  • Joseph Boyden

    "With Medicine Walk, Richard Wagamese has become a master. This brilliant novel is his heart song, his crowning achievement thus far."

  • Thomas King "In Medicine Walk, Wagamese manages the nuances of betrayal and redemption with uncommon artistry. It is a breathtaking novel of sorrow, hope and polished steel."
  • Jane Urquhart "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; Steinbeck among them. But Wagamese's voice and vision are also completely his own, as is the important and powerful story he has to tell."
  • National Post "Medicine Walk is a masterpiece, a work of art that explores human interconnectedness with a level of artistry so superb that the personal becomes eternal."
  • Toronto Star "A moving story.... Wagamese balances the novel's spiritual and political subtexts with sly humour, sharp, believable dialogue and superb storytelling skills. Medicine Walk is a major accomplishment from an author who has become one of Canada's best novelists."
  • Globe and Mail "This is very much a novel about the role of stories in our lives, those we tell ourselves about ourselves and those we agree to live by.... Wagamese understands that the stories we don't tell are as important as the ones we do....But Medicine Walk is also testament to the redemptive power of love and compassion."
  • Vancouver Sun "One of the finest novels of the year.... Medicine Walk is not only a graceful book, it is a novel of grace, of coming to terms with hidden truths, of coming to know the secrets behind forbidding appearances, of finding the humanity within strangers."
  • Now Magazine (NNNN)

    "An essential read.... Superbly written."

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    McClelland & Stewart
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