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McClelland & Stewart Fall 2018

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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.

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 Richard Wagamese and Starlight:

"Starlight feels fully formed. . . . The prose is both musical and hard-edged, bending to match the rhythms of life in the wild, on the farm and in the desolate skid-row bards of distant cities. A captivating and ultimately uplifting read, and the last we'll enjoy from on of our best writers." —Toronto Star

"[A] triumph. . . . This is an important story to know and to experience, from an artist cut down at the height of his powers." —Winnipeg Free Press

"A wonderful and moving story, both tragic and hopeful." —Regina Leader-Post

"What Wagamese does with this novel is set stunning scenes and deliver a moving story about the power of family even if it is an accidental one." —Vancouver Sun

"Richard Wagamese divined the secrets of human scars and knew that broken people are the strangest and most extraordinary people of all." —Louise Erdrich, New York Times

"Wagamese manages the nuances of betrayal and redemption with uncommon artistry. Medicine Walk is a breathtaking novel of sorrow, hope and polished steel." —Thomas King, author of The Inconvenient Indian.

"He is such a master of empathy—of delineating the experience of time passing, of lessons being learned, of tragedies being endured—that what [his characters discover] becomes something the reader learns, as well, shocking and alien, valuable and true." —Jane Smiley, Globe and Mail

"Richard Wagamese's writing is sweet medicine for the soul." —Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed

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