Yes, it’s a La-Z-Boy. So my Dad’s chair, but it’s not. His was called a “Tranquillator”. It was martini-olive green and it vibrated. Mine is faux Shaker. It reclines, but to the perfect angle so that I can hold a book in one hand and write notes for interviews with the other.
This is my studio: a personal gallery of Canadiana I have collected over the years. That’s a painting of Patterson Inlet in the fall in Nunavut, by David Marshak. And a chunky carved snowy owl from Nova Scotia.
I’m reading Indian Horse, the new novel by Richard Wagamese. We look back on the life of Saul Indian Horse, starting with his childhood in residential school, where all the light goes out of his world, as it did for so many Aboriginal kids.
However, it’s there that Saul’s preternatural gift for hockey emerges. And the story really takes off. He skates like Gretzky and makes plays like Bobby Orr. Hockey is his salvation. And Richard Wagamese writes about hockey the way Esi Edugyan writes about jazz in Half-Blood Blues: You aren’t reading about hockey, you’re the game.
I don’t know if Canada needs another novel about hockey. But as this country tries to come to terms with the policies that created and perpetuated Indian Residential Schools, I sure know we need this book.
Shelagh Rogers is the host of and a producer on The Next Chapter on CBC Radio One.
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