Tag Archives: Richard Wagamese

Volunteer Reader Review

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese

Medicine Walk had my undivided attention from the first page. This novel is about a father (Eldon) and son (Frank), who try to make a connection with each other during the last few days of Eldon’s life. Eldon, an alcoholic and an absentee father, feels compelled to explain to his son why his like took the direction it did. The great reveal takes place in a majestic outdoor setting.

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese

Throughout this novel the author describes beautifully the wilderness and the impact it has on Frank’s life and well being. The words were so powerful I wanted to jump into my vehicle and heads to the hills to enjoy the peace and quiet that Richard leads me to believe is there. Far from the oasis spa bathrooms that all of us seem to have in our homes today.

The author does an outstanding job in capturing the emotions of all the characters in the story, in particular Frank’s. Frank’s feelings for his father are like a roller coaster ride, and for good reason. No one appreciates broken promises and abandonment. In the end questions are answered and lives are at peace.

This novel delves into the complexities of relationships and the impact events in one’s life can have on those relationships, both good and bad. It also draws awareness to the healing power of nature and its beauty which is freely available for all of us to enjoy.

Reviewed by: Petra Mandock


Leave a comment

Filed under Volunteer Reader Reviews

Reading for Freedom

It’s that time of year again; Freedom to Read Week is just around the corner! This year, it’s February 26 to March 3, and once again WordFest is teaming up with the Writers Guild of Alberta to celebrate this special week.  In my humble opinion, Freedom to Read encompasses such a wide range of things; freedom of speech, freedom from censorship, freedom of expression, etc. Although we may not realize it at first, so many stories in the news these days holds the violation of this basic human right at its core, and that’s why I wanted to post something about this topic.

Take for example the Salman Rushdie debacle in Jaipur just a few weeks ago. A video link including Rushdie had to be cancelled due to violent threats placed against Festival organizers and attendees, should the event go ahead as planned. Our Festival Director, Jo Steffens was there to witness it, and took this telling snapshot of the crowd before the event. The Skype chat was ultimately cancelled and an impromptu discussion on the importance of freedom of expression took place. You can watch the panel discussion here.

Look at a little closer-maybe squint a bit. No, your eyes not deceiving you, those are people holding machine guns in the middle of a crowd of Festival goers. As a fellow event organizer, this is an especially troubling scene. The people who are sitting in those seats are not even expressing their own opinions, they simply want to listen to someone speak their thoughts, which horrifically, put them in physical danger. Why does the thought of someone expressing an idea that is contrary to your own beliefs arouse such hatred in some people? That’s obviously a loaded question to ask, one that I will never have enough blog posts to answer, but this is why Freedom to Read Week is so important.

As a booklover, I look forward to reading things that question my own opinions. To me, this is an exercise in self-growth and cultivation of intelligence. The world would be a boring, uninspired and uncreative place if we all held the same opinions. So why do we persecute other people for disagreeing with our own way of life? The Jaipur Literature Festival—as is WordFest—is a festival of ideas, ideas that can be found between two covers. The right to your opinion is important, the right to express your opinion is really important, and the right to read about other opinions is of the utmost importance, and this is why Freedom to Read Week is part of WordFest’s yearly repertoire of events. We welcome dialogue, and we hope to hear more of it on February 29 at the Barley Mill. Please come and make your opinion heard!

Leave a comment

Filed under Behind the Scenes