With spring hopefully on its way, this edition of Reader’s Window is spotlighting another breath of fresh air, the late indigenous author, Richard Wagamese.
I discovered Richard’s writings in a used bookstore. The cover of the book Embers: One Ojibway’s Meditation caught my eye. Beautifully illustrated with color photographs, the accompanying message on each page feels like a gift. It is a treasure that sits on the table where I have my morning coffee. I can pick it up, open any random page, and receive my inspiration for the day.
Richard Wagamese was a truly gifted writer and storyteller, often drawing on his own life to illustrate and share insights gained from his experiences. While his life was one of early abandonment, substance abuse, and other struggles, there is a joy in his writing that resonates and continues to inspire.
Author Wagamese was a prolific writer who authored fifteen books, one of which was published posthumously. At various times in his life, he was also a journalist and worked in broadcasting. His books have won numerous awards and honors.
From the inside cover of Embers, Richard was “recognized as one of Canada’s foremost First Nations authors and storytellers.” Embers was honored as a BC Book Prize winner and was nominated for a booksellers’ choice award just one week before Wagamese’s death in March 2017.
February’s book club discussion focused on Wagamese’s book One Story, One Song. It was agreed by all book club attendees that they absolutely loved the book and felt like they really knew Mr. Wagamese by the end of it. Most attendees said they considered him a friend after finishing it. One Story, One Song is a collection of short stories or essays that the author draws from his own life, and while they are deeply personal, they resonate with the reader. From the inside cover: “The short stories in One Story, One Song remind us of human beings’ place in the world. We are a part of it, not masters of it. And by sharing our stories we share ourselves. By listening to others’ stories, we share their lives and perhaps gain connections. One Story, One Song is about connections, something we all need.” —Globe and Mail
That last line really resonates with me.
To join our monthly book club discussions virtually, check out the calendar on the Samish website to see the books that have been selected from March 2024 going forward.
Welcome, spring, bring on the daffodils!