Our nation went into mourning with the death of beloved award-winning author Richard Wagamese in March 2017. Wagamese was one of Canada’s leading Indigenous writers and storytellers, an Ojibway from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in northwestern Ontario, author of a collection of poetry, five nonfiction books, and six novels. His writing touched many lives and received numerous awards.
Wagamese was very close to finishing his next novel when he passed away. McClelland & Stewart is releasing Starlight posthumously, including a Note on the Text where Wagamese’s ideas for the book’s final scene have been gathered and summarized. Franklin Starlight, the dutiful son in Wagamese’s acclaimed novel, Medicine Walk, returns as the central protagonist. The book also includes a previously unpublished work titled “Finding Father,” a deeply personal essay whose themes echo that of the novel.
The Festival is honoured to pay tribute to Richard Wagamese with 2018 Festival participants Carleigh Baker and Philip Kevin Paul in conversation with host Kathryn Gretsinger and readings from Starlight by Sunshine Coast actor Janet Hodgkinson.