Nominated by:

Ottawa Public Library, Canada

Publisher of nominated edition:

Douglas & McIntyre, Canada

Indian Horse

Richard Wagamese      

2014 Longlist

Saul Indian Horse has hit bottom. His last binge almost killed him, and now he’s a reluctant resident in a treatment centre for alcoholics, surrounded by people he’s sure will never understand him. But Saul wants peace, and he grudgingly comes to see that he’ll find it only through telling his story. With him, readers embark on a journey back through the life he’s led as a northern Ojibway, with all its joys and sorrows.

With compassion and insight, author Richard Wagamese traces through his fictional characters the decline of a culture and a cultural way. For Saul, taken forcibly from the land and his family when he’s sent to residential school, salvation comes for a while through his incredible gifts as a hockey player. But in the harsh realities of 1960s Canada, he battles obdurate racism and the spirit-destroying effects of cultural alienation and displacement.

Indian Horse unfolds against the bleak loveliness of northern Ontario, all rock, marsh, bog and cedar. Wagamese writes with a spare beauty, penetrating the heart of a remarkable Ojibway man.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Richard Wagamese is an Ojibway from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in northwestern Ontario. He is the author of four novels, including Dream Wheels, winner of the 2007 Canadian Authors Association MOSAID Technologies Inc. Award for Fiction. His autobiographical book For Joshua was published to critical acclaim, and One Native Life was selected as one of the Globe and Mail’s Top 100 Books of the Year. He lives outside Kamloops, British Columbia.

Librarian’s Comments

A powerful story about a young Ojibway from Northern Ontario who, after he is placed in a residential school, transcends his misery by developing his considerable talent as a hockey player. He soon learns, however, that his gifts can only take him so far.

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