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Spotlight on Indigenous Authors: Richard Wagamese

Written by Sparky

November 11, 2021

Richard Wagamese’s debut novel, The Keeper’n Me, was published in 1994 and won the Writer’s Guild of Alberta award for best novel. This marked the beginning of a prominent and prolific literary career. Wagamese went onto publish eight more novels, one collection of poetry and five works of non-fiction, including anthologies. His harrowing and darkly comic 2012 novel, Indian Horse, about a survivor of a residential school with an extraordinary gift for ice hockey, was a finalist on CBC’s Canada Reads, where it won the People’s Choice award. Indian Horse was adapted into a film in 2017 by writer Dennis Foon and producers Christine Haebler and Trish Dolman.

“People never ask me where I get the inspiration for my work and I really wish they would,” Wagamese said in a 2014 interview with the Globe and Mail. “The answer is long and complicated but shows my motivation to write and create stories. Simply and briefly put, I get my inspiration from the knowledge that there is someone out there in the world who is just like me — curious and desiring more and more knowledge of the world and her people. I write so that when they pick up one of my books there is an instantaneous connection, like we’re collaborating on the story.”

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