Arts & Leisure

Book review: Empire of Wild — by Cherie Dimaline

(William Morrow & Company)
To the Métis people of Canada and the far north reaches of the midwestern United States, a Rogarou is a shapeshifting werewolf-like creature that roamed the roads at night, “the threat from a hundred stories told by those old enough to remember the tales…He was a dog, a man, a wolf.” Tales of his presence kept young girls off the roads at night and ensured young boys never talked back to their parents. Out of this world, a husband has disappeared, gone now for over a year, and his wife, his love, Joan of Arcand, looks for him in every ditch — never stops looking for him. When a traveling tent revival puts on a show close to Arcand, Joan discovers her lost husband, but who is he really, and why is it so important for him to keep converting the indigenous peoples, why are his services so in demand? The folklore of the Métis doesn’t just provide a cultural backdrop; the legend of the Rogarou is integral to the plot of the darkly magical, extremely well-told story of family, love and loyalty juxtaposed with greed and deceit. Joan’s struggles exist in the world we now live in, but the battle she must fight is mythic.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of the Vermont Book Shop
 

New & Noteworthy Indigenous Peoples Fiction
Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
There There by Tommy Orange
Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot
The Yield by Tara June Winch
Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

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