The Next Chapter·Dog-eared Reads

Wayne Arthurson feels all Canadians should read this breakout Tomson Highway novel

The Edmonton author loves to re-read the 1999 novel Kiss of the Fur Queen.
Edmonton author Wayne Arthurson is a fan of Tomson Highway's Kiss of the Fur Queen. (Anchor Canada, Shawna Lemay)

Wayne Arthurson is an Alberta-based writer of Cree and French Canadian descent. He's the author of five novels, including Blood Red Summer, The Traitors of Camp 133 and The Red Chesterfield.

Arthurson is a fan of Indigenous playwright, novelist and children's author Tomson Highway and regularly turns to reading Highway's 1999 novel Kiss of the Fur Queen.

He stopped by The Next Chapter to tell us why.

"When I first read Kiss of the Fur Queen, I was so taken with the magic realism and then also the realism of the story of the two brothers as they struggle through residential school and make their lives in the artistic world. 

It's just a powerful and wonderful and very funny book. Highway is a wonderful and hilarious writer that also touches your heart.

"Highway's language — and how he creates the story through flashbacks and magic realism and reality — is just a wonderful read. It's one of those books that everybody sort of knows about. It is a seminal work in Canadian fiction and Indigenous fiction. 

"It's just a powerful and wonderful and very funny book. Highway is a wonderful and hilarious writer that also touches your heart."

Wayne Arthurson's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

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