At the beginning of this haunting and masterful novel from the late Wagamese ( –), eight-year-old Saul Indian Horse is alone, having. Saul Indian Horse is in critical condition. Sitting feeble in an alcoholism treatment facility, he is told that sharing his story will help relieve his agony. Though. Indian Horse, a severe yet beautiful novel by Ojibway writer Richard Wagamese, concerns Saul Indian Horse, a former hockey star undergoing.

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March 9, Indian Horsea severe yet beautiful novel by Ojibway writer Richard Wagamese, concerns Saul Indian Horse, a former hockey star undergoing treatment for alcoholism.

Saul chronicles his life story as a means of identifying the source of his addiction.

At the same time, it demonstrates how knowing your own story can heal a broken spirit. On the one hand, Wagamese considers native rituals and spirituality, on the other he explores political solutions and political violence. Here is what he told me when I interviewed him at that time: In novels such as Dream Wheels and a memoir For Joshua: However, the skill with hodse he tackles this subject has reached indin heights.


Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

He seamlessly braids together his two traditions: English literary and aboriginal oral. The family hopes living far outside town will keep the boys from residential school.

But government men hunt them down, and take Ben at gunpoint.

They leave the bush, moving from campground to campground in the rundown margins of towns. He lands, inevitably, at St.

A degree of respite arrives in the form of Father Leboutilier. The young priest introduces the students to hockey. Saul develops a passion for the game and an uncanny, almost preternatural gift.

Wagamese bleakly corroborates this catalogue of horror.

A nun viciously beats a boy who refuses to deny his father. A little boy routinely has his jorse tied behind his back to prevent him from wiping his nose with his sleeve.

The child hangs himself from the rafters in the barn. He is six years old.

Book Review: Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese

A little girl is placed in wagamede box — the Iron Sister — for repeatedly wetting the bed. After she dies mysteriously, her sister stabs herself to death. There are no funerals for these children. Yet, Wagamese writes without apology; and with such specificity and emotional restraint the reader sometimes forgets to breathe.


Eventually, he moves in with a family in Manitouwadge, so he can play in the native tournaments.

Wagamese is at his best describing the freedom and icy exhilaration of the outdoor rinks; we observe eight-year-old Saul exuberantly clearing the snow off the ice for the school team and practising stick handling in the pre-dawn hours using frozen horse turds for pucks. But this is the hockey world of the s.

Red Rock — a continuous naming that suggests a cultural reclaiming. Wagamese incorporates Ojibway words throughout: In addition to individual words and phrases, he weaves in Ojibway legends.

In this way Wagamese crafts an unforgettable work of art. Special to National Post. You can make Grover swear, or not, depending on which sentence you’re thinking about at the time. Everyone knows a bad reno story. This is not that story. Construction began next door — and then, they say, the nightmare began. Find National Post on Facebook.