Have you been watching the Canada Reads debates on CBC Television?
Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves was one of the last three of five books standing in the national contest in yesterday's third day of debates. It was defended passionately by Canadian R&B artist Jully Black. Today, 'Forgiveness' by Mark Sakamoto was announced the winner.
The Marrow Thieves is set in a dystopian future in which North America has nearly been destroyed by global warming. The novel's protagonist, Frenchie, has to hide: but for him, hiding means constantly being on the move. People have forgotten how to dream and because of that, Indigenous people are hunted for their bone marrow — what scientist believe to be the locus of a cure.
In 2017, the book won the Governor General's Award for English-language Children's Literature and the Kirkus Prize in the young adult literature category.
While the book didn't come out on top in Canada Reads today, The Marrow Thieves remains a winner here in Nickel City. Dimaline was in Sudbury at the end of February. At that time, she visited the Grade 11 English: Contemporary Indigenous Voices class at St. Charles College. Teacher Jen Petahtegoose said students asked questions about the writing process and major themes.
“I’m really enjoying this book, like I can’t put it down," said Grade 11 student Latoya Esquimaux, "It means so much to me to have Ms. Dimaline visit our class, she was funny and kind."
After visiting St. Charles college, Dimaline gave a reading at Laurentian University. It was the last talk given in the 2017-18 school year as part of the Indigenous Writers Series, an initiative of fellow Métis writer and English Arts Professor Gregory Scofield. The writers series will resume in September.
We caught up with Cherie Dimaline after the reading for a 20+ Questions Interview. Her responses revealed the kindness and humour St. Charles Student Latoya Esquimaux alluded to, and an interesting location where she wrote her award-winning book.
For a chance to win one of two signed copies of The Marrow Thieves, watch the video and comment below with Dimaline's response to the question: "What's the last thing you binge watched?"
We will announce the winner and the answer next Friday.