Richard Wagamese

  • When Garnet Raven was three years old, he was taken from his home on an Ojibway Indian reserve and placed in a series of foster homes. Having reached his mid-teens, he escapes at the first available opportunity, only to find himself cast adrift on the streets of the big city.
    Having skirted the urban underbelly once too often by age 20, he finds himself thrown in jail. While there, he gets a surprise letter from his long-forgotten native family.
    The sudden communication from his past spurs him to return to the reserve following his release from jail. Deciding to stay awhile, his life is changed completely as he comes to discover his sense of place, and of self. While on the reserve, Garnet is initiated into the ways of the Ojibway--both ancient and modern--by Keeper, a friend of his grandfather, and last fount of history about his people's ways.
    By turns funny, poignant and mystical, Keeper'n Me reflects a positive view of Native life and philosophy--as well as casting fresh light on the redemptive power of one's community and traditions.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Four chronically homeless people-Amelia One Sky, Timber, Double Dick and Digger-seek refuge in a warm movie theatre when a severe Arctic Front descends on the city. During what is supposed to be a one-time event, this temporary refuge transfixes them. They fall in love with this new world, and once the weather clears, continue their trips to the cinema. On one of these outings they meet Granite, a jaded and lonely journalist who has turned his back on writing "the same story over and over again" in favour of the escapist qualities of film, and an unlikely friendship is struck.
    A found cigarette package (contents: some unsmoked cigarettes, three $20 bills, and a lottery ticket) changes the fortune of this struggling set. The ragged company discovers they have won $13.5 million, but none of them can claim the money for lack proper identification. Enlisting the help of Granite, their lives, and fortunes, become forever changed.
    Ragged Company is a journey into both the future and the past. Richard Wagamese deftly explores the nature of the comforts these friends find in their ideas of "home," as he reconnects them to their histories.

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