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CORPORATE - Penguin Random House

By (author): Richard Wagamese
9780771070846 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Literary Aug 14, 2018
$29.95 CAD
Active 5.8 x 8.52 x 0.9 in 256 pages McClelland & Stewart
The final novel from Richard Wagamese, the bestselling and beloved author of Indian Horse and Medicine Walk, centres on an abused woman on the run who finds refuge on a farm owned by an Indigenous man with wounds of his own. A profoundly moving novel about the redemptive power of love, mercy, and compassion—and the land’s ability to heal us.

Frank Starlight has long settled into a quiet life working his remote farm, but his contemplative existence comes to an abrupt end with the arrival of Emmy, who has committed a desperate act so she and her child can escape a harrowing life of violence. Starlight takes in Emmy and her daughter to help them get back on their feet, and this accidental family eventually grows into a real one. But Emmy’s abusive ex isn’t content to just let her go. He wants revenge and is determined to hunt her down.

Starlight was unfinished at the time of Richard Wagamese’s death, yet every page radiates with his masterful storytelling, intense humanism, and insights that are as hard-earned as they are beautiful. With astonishing scenes set in the rugged backcountry of the B.C. Interior, and characters whose scars cut deep even as their journey toward healing and forgiveness lifts us, Starlight is a last gift to readers from a writer who believed in the power of stories to save us.

Story Locale: Nechako Valley, B.C., and Vancouver, B.C.

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.

COMPANION VOLUME TO MEDICINE WALK: Franklin Starlight, the boy who fulfilled his father’s last wish of being buried in the traditional Ojibway manner in Medicine Walk, has grown into a man whose profound sense of honour allows him to welcome strangers into his home to save them, and perhaps himself as well. Film rights to Medicine Walk have just been sold.


A MUCH-NEEDED STORY OF HEALING AND RECONCILIATION FOR OUR TROUBLED TIMES: This novel contains scenes of kindness and grace that are deeply cathartic for both the characters and readers.

AUTHOR’S INTENTIONS KNOWN: Based on the recollections of trusted intimates with whom Wagamese periodically shared his ideas about his novel-in-progress, we have some indication of what he intended for the remainder of the novel, a summary of which is included in the book, along with a final scene and a previously unpublished short essay by Wagamese.

BACKLIST REPACKAGE: We are looking at repackaging Wagamese’s extensive backlist of fiction and non-fiction at M&S and Anchor Canada (timing TBA).

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; and Medicine Walk. 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.

Marketing: publication announcement/cover reveal

social media advertising

digital advertising 

Publicity: Possible involvement with festivals with panel or tribute of some kind with writers influenced by his work

National coverage and reviews, and target regional areas with strong support (ex., Kamloops)

Large mailing list and send galleys out early to build anticipation for final novel

Praise for Medicine Walk:

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.”—National Post

“Richard Wagamese’s novel renders the Canadian wilderness with staggering insight and beauty. The same can be said for his understanding of the fragility, wildness and resilience of the human heart. Magnificent.”—Lisa Moore

“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.”—Thomas King

“A beautiful book, suffused with an intimate awareness of the natural world, and of the intricacies of characters who, on the surface, appear simple and terse…. 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.”—Robert J. Wiersema, Vancouver Sun


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