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Richard Wagamese Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Keeper'n Me (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Terrible Summer (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Quality of Light (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dream Wheels (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ragged Company (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Next Sure Thing (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Indian Horse (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Him Standing (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Medicine Walk (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Starlight (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Runaway Dreams (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Perfect Likeness (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Richard Wagamese Selected:What Comes From Spirit (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

For Joshua: An Ojibway Father Teaches His Son (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Native Life (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Story, One Song (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Embers: One Ojibway's Meditations (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Drum: Stories and Ceremonies for a Planet (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Richard Wagamese
Richard Wagamese was born October 14, 1955 in Wabasseemoong First Nation in northwestern Ontario, Canada. He became the first Native Canadian to win a National Newspaper Award for Column Writing while he was writing for the Calgary Herald in 1991.

With this old 256 computer, he stayed in a buddy’s basement and wrote what would become “Keeper’n Me”, his debut novel. Richard was honored with the Alberta Writers Guild Best Novel Award for this story.

Richard was one of Canada’s foremost Native storytellers and authors. He worked as a professional writer since 1979. He was a newspaper reporter and columnist, television and radio broadcaster and producer, documentary producer.

“Indian Horse” won the Burt Award for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Literature in 2013, and it was a competing title in the 2013 edition of Canada Reads. The novel was adapted into a feature length film in 2017, also called “Indian Horse”, and was directed by Stephen Campanelli and was released after Richard’s death on March 10, 2017.

Richard also won the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Matt Cohen Award for his body of work and Kouhi Award for outstanding contributions to the literature of Northwestern Ontario.

“Keeper’n Me” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 1994. Garnet Raven was three years old when he was taken from his home on the Ojibway Indian Reserve and then placed in a series of foster homes. When he hit his mid-teens, jumping at his first available opportunity to escape, just to find himself cast adrift on the streets of the big city.

By age 20, he has skirted the urban underbelly once too often, and finds he’s thrown in jail. While he is there, he gets a surprise letter from his long forgotten native family.

This sudden communication from his past spurs him on to go back to the reserve after his release from jail. Deciding to stick around awhile, his life gets changed totally while he comes to find his own sense of self and of place. Garnet, while back on the reserve, gets initiated into the Objibway’s ways, both modern and ancient, by Keeper, who is a friend of his grandpa, and the last fount of history about his people’s ways.

“Dream Wheels” is the fourth stand alone novel and was released in 2006. Joe Willie Wolfchild is close to becoming a World Champion rodeo cowboy when this legendary bull cripples him. Meanwhile, Claire Hartley, in the same city, gets brutally assaulted and Aiden (her fourteen year old son) gets critically injured during this burglary. The young Ojibway-Sioux man, the black single mom and her mulatto son find their lives being irrevocably changed.

Joe Willie, this rodeo cowboy since he was a kid, smolders in this angry silence because of a deformed left arm and a limp which makes it impossible for him to compete again. Claire, who is a victim of numerous bad relationships, withdraws from men and swears to a bitter celibacy. Aiden starts gaining notoriety among his criminal peers and slips into a self destructive spiral of violence and drugs.

Claire, eager to find a place for her son to channel his more explosive urges, drags Aiden to a rodeo camp that’s run by the Wolfchild family, where he’s drawn to bull riding and he proves to be a stunning natural at it. However Joe Willie refuses any involvement with the camp, staying a mysterious and aloof presence to Claire and her son.

Joe Willie’s dad, Birch Wolfchild, sees Aiden’s potential to become champion, and for his son to heal himself, if they can just move beyond their own anger to forge a partnership. Joe Willie’s and Claire’s wounds each bring them together in this surprising romance, and under it all is Birch’s story of the changing of the life of an Indian cowboy.

This is a story about change. Moving from the Wild West Shows from the late 1880s to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas to this lush valley in the mountains, it tells the tale of one people’s journey, a man’s reawakening, a family’s vision, a boy’s emergence to manhood, and a woman’s recovery.

“Ragged Company” is the fifth stand alone novel and was released in 2008. Four chronically homeless folks: Digger, Amelia One Sky, Double Dick, and Timber, seek refuge in this warm movie theater when this severe Arctic Front descends upon the city. During what’s just supposed to be a one time event, this temporary refuge transfixes them all.

They fall in love with this brand new world, and one the weather clears up, continue their trips out to the cinema. On one such outing they meet Granite, this lonely and jaded journalist that has turned his back on writing the “same story again and again” in favor of the escapist qualities of film, and this unlikely friendship gets struck.

This discovered cigarette packet (contents: three $20s, some unsmoked cigarettes, and one lottery ticket) changes the fortune of this struggling set. This ragged company learns that they have won $13.5 million, however none of them are able to claim the money because of a lack of proper identification. Enlisting the help of Granite, their lives, as well as their fortunes, become forever changed.

“Ragged Company” is a journey into both the past and the future. Richard deftly explores the nature of the comforts that these friends discover in their ideas of “home”, while he reconnects them into their own histories.

“The Next Sure Thing” is the fifth stand alone novel and was released in 2011.Cree Thunderboy wants nothing less than to be the next great blues man. However, playing to these tiny audiences in the shabby rooms like Shelly’s Crab Shack, his career has stalled. Then, while at the race track, he meets this seemingly charming rogue, named Win Hardy, that spots Cree’s knack for selecting winning horses. He offers to record Cree’s first CD and send him out on tour, just as long as Cree is able to continue coming up with those hot tips at the track.

Things are starting to look good for Cree until he learns that Win’s connections to the mob and his violent response to any little thing that does not go his way. And when things inevitably start going bad, Cree learns that in gambling and in life there’s never really the next sure thing.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Richard Wagamese

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