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David Alexander Robertson on 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga

7generations EDIT.jpg"Memories were hard to lose. Like scars, you see. There, always. Always a part of you.
Even amongst the thick and endless trees. Even then, in the black, clear. And he was lost. Still lost."

 

That's how David Alexander Robertson describes his character's inner turmoil on page 56 of his book 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga. That part is easy to describe in words; what's a little tougher to explain is what that page looks like. Because 7 Generations is, after all, a graphic novel. Between those words, the page is divided up into fragments, slashed apart by birch trees, and in each fragment a character is running forward.

 

It juxtaposes Edwin, a tormented Aboriginal youth in the present trying to escape his own demons and torn-apart family, with White Cloud, an ancestor of Edwin's, in 1870, who has lost his family to smallpox.

 

Robertson's works are full of the parallels between characters of different generations, and there are a lot of dark stories woven together in Robertson's works. He's bringing those stories to the Kingston Writersfest this week, but first he joined us for a preview chat.

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