Books

Richard Wagamese's final book, One Drum, to be published in Oct. 2019

One Drum is a collection of stories and ceremonies inspired by the foundational teachings of Ojibway tradition, known as the Seven Grandfather Teachings.
One Drum is Richard Wagamese's final book. (Douglas & McIntyre)

Richard Wagamese's final book, One Drum, will be published Oct.19, 2019.

One Drum is a collection of stories and ceremonies inspired by the foundational teachings of Ojibway tradition. 

Wagamese's original plan was to focus on each of the seven lessons, known as the Seven Grandfather Teachings, but he died before completing the manuscript. He had been working on the book for three years prior to his death.

Wagamese died in March 2017 at the age of 61.

The Seven Grandfather Teachings are humility, courage, honesty, wisdom, truth, respect and love.

One Drum will focus on the lessons of "humility, respect and courage," according to Douglas & McIntyre, the publishing company releasing the book. 

"The manuscript has much to offer readers, and it has been published here, as the author penned it, with minimal edits," Douglas & McIntyre told CBC Books via email. "It is our hope that the reader will draw inspiration from these writings and find their own path, filling in what Wagamese did not have the chance to put down on paper."

One Drum will feature four ceremonies that anyone can do. Wagamese hoped that the ceremonies wold inspire readers "to connect with the rest of humanity and every other thing on the planet, and live life itself as a ceremony."

Wagamese debuted with the novel Keeper'n Me in 1994. It won the Alberta Writers' Guild Best Novel Award the following year.

His book Indian Horse was a finalist on Canada Reads 2013, defended by Carol Huynh. He received the 2013 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature. In 2017, the novel was adapted into a feature film, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. He won the 2015 Writers' Trust of Canada's Matt Cohen Award, an award that recognizes a writer that has dedicated their life to their craft. 

His other works include Medicine WalkRagged Company Him Standing, Dream Wheel, the poetry book Runaway Dreams and the memoirs For JoshuaEmbers and One Native Life.

His final novel, Starlight, was published posthumously in 2017.

"I am constantly changing my writing. I am always challenging myself, to be better, to be different, to find a new and evocative voice with which to tell my story, to grow more fluid, to ask deeper and more resonant questions," Wagamese told CBC Books in 2016. "I want the next book to always be a step beyond the last one. It's what I owe my readers."

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