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Knopf/Doubleday (Green) Announced Drop-Ins February 2019

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A Quality of Light
By (author): Richard Wagamese
9780385694629 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Native American & Aboriginal Jul 16, 2019
$21.00 CAD
Active 5.19 x 7.98 x 0.93 in 400 pages Doubleday Canada Anchor Canada
From the beloved, bestselling author of Indian Horse and Medicine Walk, Richard Wagamese’s novel is a moving story of friendship, loyalty, compassion, and justice.

Joshua Kane, an Ojibway, has lived since infancy with his white adoptive parents. Johnny Gebhardt is white, and from a young age has had a fascination with Indigenous culture, craving the spirituality and strength he knows are a part of a life sorely lacking in his own. Happily, the two boys meet and form a deep bond through their “invention” of baseball, the warrior identities they bestow upon themselves, and their promise to always be loyal and good and kind.

When a nasty racial incident puts Joshua in the hospital and Johnny in a detention centre, Joshua begins to discover his heritage. Johnny, incensed at the injustices endured by Joshua and Indigenous people throughout North America, takes a militaristic stance in his fight for native rights and traditions. Each now has a disparate belief about what it means to be truly native, and their friendship dissolves.

A violent hostage-talking brings them together many years later, and they recall the oath they took as boys. This tragic event allows each man to fully realize the true spirit in the other.

BACKLIST REPACKAGE: A Quality of Light joins Medicine Walk, Dream Wheels, Ragged Company, For Joshua, and Keeper’n Me as Richard’s final backlist title to receive a refreshed repackage.

AUDIENCE: For readers of David Chariandy, Annie Proulx, Katherena Vermette, David Adams Richards, Eden Robinson, Cormac McCarthy, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Thomas King, Patrick Lane, Russell Banks.

RICHARD WAGAMESE, an Ojibway from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in northwestern Ontario, was one of Canada’s foremost writers. His acclaimed, bestselling novels included Keeper’n Me; Indian Horse, which was a Canada Reads finalist, winner of the inaugural Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature, and made into a feature film; Medicine Walk; and Starlight. He was also the author of acclaimed memoirs, including For Joshua; One Native Life; and One Story, One Song, which won the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature; as well as a collection of personal reflections, Embers, which received the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award. He won numerous awards and recognition for his writing, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media and Communications, the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize, the Canada Reads People’s Choice Award, and the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Matt Cohen Award. Wagamese died on March 10, 2017, in Kamloops, B.C.

“[Wagamese] dances through the novel, with dazzling descriptions of Ontario and its rolling farmlands and natural surroundings. He paints Indian fact and folklore in clear, elegant word pictures to show that life’s pain is common to us all.”—The Globe and Mail

“With flowing language and innate story-telling ability, Wagamese shows a talent for taking the obvious and making it profound.”—The Calgary Herald

“Wagamese writes wonderful prose and has a gift for compelling narrative rooted in some of the central moral questions that haunt Canadian life today.”—The Montreal Gazette

“Wagamese transposes voice in a most surprising way, fiddling with readers’ assumptions and expectations, and he displays a fine sense of irony in the process…. [He] demystifies the fictions we all create in order to tame our demons, and debunk[s] the myths perpetuated by non-Aboriginal ’experts’ with their own ideas of Aboriginal reality.”—Quill & Quire

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