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Celia's Song
Lee Maracle (1950-2021)
Cormorant Books / Softcover / 2014-10-01 / 1770864512
Indigenous Peoples / Fiction
price: $22.95 (may be subject to change)
280 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 3-6 business days

Mink is a witness, a shape shifter, compelled to follow the story that has ensnared Celia and her village, on the West coast of Vancouver Island in Nuu’Chahlnuth territory.

Celia is a seer who — despite being convinced she’s a little “off” — must heal her village with the assistance of her sister, her mother and father, and her nephews.

While mink is visiting, a double-headed sea serpent falls off the house front during a fierce storm. The old snake, ostracized from the village decades earlier, has left his terrible influence on Amos, a residential school survivor. The occurrence signals the unfolding of an ordeal that pulls Celia out of her reveries and into the tragedy of her cousin’s granddaughter.

Each one of Celia’s family becomes involved in creating a greater solution than merely attending to her cousin’s granddaughter.

Celia’s Song relates one Nuu’Chahlnuth family’s harrowing experiences over several generations, after the brutality, interference, and neglect resulting from contact with Europeans.

Reviews:

“Maracle in no way suggests that the answers to Canada’s colonial past are clear, but she tells a fiercely honest and wonderfully compassionate story.”
— Publishers Weekly

“Maracle does not shy away from the worst social ills pulling the community apart – suicide, alcoholism, and sexual abuse among them – but she denies the fatalistic view, offering room for hope instead.”
— The Globe and Mail

“If you care about reconciliation and justice in Canada, ferociously beautiful prose and complex, compassionate character development, make time this year to listen to Celia’s song.”
— Vancouver Sun

“Reading Lee Maracle’s Celia’s Song feels like the best breathing I’ve ever done. It’s like finding an unlikely friend who truly recognizes me … both the content and structure of Celia’s Song transcend my limited worldview and expand my experience of humanity.”
— Winnipeg Review

“In gentle yet powerful prose, Maracle underscores the horrifying impact of the Residential School System, the ongoing problem of suicide, and the loss of tradition that continue to plague First Nations communities.”
— Quill and Quire

“The story Maracle tells is one that makes intimate links between personal and cultural renewal, and illuminates the deep value of doing things ‘just as her ancestors would have.'”
— Now Magazine

“Vividly brings to life the destructive legacy of colonial times — and a community’s capacity for healing.”
— CBC Books

“There is no book that I’ve read that has had such an emotional impact. A stunning achievement. It is one of the absolute best books I’ve read in years and years.”
— CBC All in a Day

“Lee Maracle is one of Canada’s bravest literary voices. She writes with clear-eyed fierceness.”
— Rover Arts

“Tremendous.”
— Waubgeshig Rice

“Cedar speaks. Bones demand the burial and loyalty due to them. Scents unravel memories. A two-headed serpent dislodges itself from a longhouse and wreaks havoc. Stories fiction themselves, have their own mind. Humans trip on the restless past, remember the future. And a shape-shifting mink, witness par excellence, watches it all unfold under its unflinching eye. Lee Maracle’s Sto:lo characters re-discover, against all odds, the restoring power of ceremony. Disturbing and heartbreaking, but also uplifting and inspirational, Celia’s Song is mind-changing.”
— Smaro Kamboureli

About the Author:

Lee Maracle was a member of the Sto:Lo nation and the author of the critically acclaimed novels Celia's Song, Ravensong, and Daughters Are Forever. She was one of only five Canadian authors ever shortlisted for the Neustadt Award, commonly referred to as "the American Nobel." Maracle was one of the founders of the En'owkin International School of Writing and the cultural director of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. She received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work promoting writing among Aboriginal Youth and was a Member of the Order of Canada. She had served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington. Maracle lived in Vancouver, BC where she passed away in 2021.

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