Tuesday, July 1, 2014 |
Joseph Boyden's haunting first novel tells the story of two Cree snipers scarred by their experiences on the battlefields of France and Belgium in the First World War. The book was inspired in part by the real-life aboriginal First World War hero Francis Pegahmagabow, and drew both popular and critical acclaim for its unflinching depiction of war's terrible toll.
Three Day Road won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize in 2005 and the Books in Canada/Amazon First Novel Award in 2006. It was a Canada Reads contender in 2006, when it was defended by Nelofer Pazira.
"You know I was a bush pilot. The best. But the best have to crash. And I've crashed a plane, me. Three times. I need to explain this all to you. I was a young man when I crashed the first time. The world was wide open. I was scared of nothing. Just before Helen and I had our oldest boy. The first time I crashed I was drunk, but that wasn't the reason I crashed. I used to fly a bush plane better with a few drinks in me. I actually believe my eyesight improved with whisky goggles on. But sight had nothing to do with my first crash. Wait. It had everything to do with it. Snowstorm. Zero visibility. As snow blinded my takeoff from the slick runway, I got the go-ahead with a warning from the Moosonee flight tower: harder snow coming."
From Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden ©2008. Published by Penguin Canada.