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CanLit150

Celebrate more than 150 years of Canada with 150 books.

Hannah Sung Recommends

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese

Medicine Walk (2014)

(From Penguin Random House)

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. 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.

Richard Wagamese

(From Richard Wagamese's website)

Richard Wagamese was one of Canada's foremost Native authors and storytellers. Working as a professional writer since 1979, he was a newspaper columnist and reporter, radio and television broadcaster and producer, documentary producer and the author of thirteen titles from major Canadian publishers.

As an Ojibway writer from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in Northwestern Ontario, Wagamese became the first Native Canadian to win a National Newspaper Award for Column Writing in 1991.  As a published author he won the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature for his 2011 memoir One Story, One Song, the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction for his third novel Dream Wheels in 2007 and the Alberta Writers Guild Best Novel Award for his debut novel, Keeper'n Me, in 1994.

Richard was the 2012 recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media & Communications and the 2013 recipient of the Canada Council on the Arts Molson Prize.

His novel, Indian Horse, arrived in February 2012. It was the Peoples’ Choice winner in the national Canada Reads competition. In 2013 he published a new novel, Him Standing, for Orca Press and a new literary novel, Medicine Walk, with McClelland & Stewart was published in April 2014.


Additional Reading

Listen to Colour Code, a podcast about race in Canada by Hannah Sung and Denise Balkissoon.

Matt Galloway also picked a Richard Wagamese book for CanLit150. Read more about Indian Horse here.