TNC Special: Shelagh's extended conversation with Richard Wagamese


There's no shortage of books on hockey in this country.  In fact, writing about the sport is almost a national pastime.  But just when you thought there might not be anything new to say about the game, Richard Wagamese's new novel Indian Horse appeared on bookshelves.  And as far as hockey books goes, it's a game-changer. 


The novel is named after its main character, Saul Indian Horse, a young Ojibway boy who, at the age of nine, winds up in St. Jerome's Residential School.  It's a dark, horrifying place.  Saul's only salvation - and his eventual escape - is hockey.

Saul is an extremely gifted hockey player and the game offers him everything he can't find elsewhere in his life: abandon, freedom, and joy, belonging, acceptance, and non-judgement.  But when his native hockey team begins to play non-native teams throughout northern Ontario, the game - and Saul's life - take a turn for the worse.

Kathleen Winter is quoted on the cover of the book.  She says "Indian Horse is a force for healing in our beautiful, broken world."  We here at The Next Chapter couldn't agree more.

Shelagh spoke with Richard Wagamese at his home outside Kamloops, BC.  They talked about Richard's writing life in the mountains, the harrowing intergenerational impact of residential school on Richard's life, and the powerful redemptive qualities of hockey.  It was a tough job to edit their conversation down to episode size and we're delighted that their entire un-edited conversation can live on in this podcast.  We hope you enjoy. 

Comments are closed.