Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Through Black Spruce

Joseph Boyden had a giant-sized grin even before winning the Giller Prize! Now the grin is entirely legit, having been fully endorsed by the 2008 Giller jury - Bob Rae, Margaret Atwood and Colm Toibin. Boyden's winning novel is Through Black Spruce, a semi-sequel to his debut novel, told by two narrators in two different settings - Will Bird, a Cree bush pilot who is the grandson of Three Day Road's Xavier Bird in northern Ontario, and Will's niece, Annie, in New York City, Montreal and Toronto.
The Métis of St. Albert may have been cheering Boyden on, with Boyden wearing the Métis infinity symbol on the front of his tuxedo while accepting the award at the glitzy Giller gala. After the ceremony Boyden noted, "What I'm most excited by is being allowed to give voice to a segment of the first nations population that I'm so impassioned by and so in love with and so a part of."
Joseph Boyden is one half of this year's lit "it" couple, with his wife Amanda Boyden (as noted in the National Post). The couple met in grad school in New Orleans, where they make their home now. Amanda Boyden has a well-reviewed novel out right now as well, Babylon Rolling. Her novel is set in and is about New Orleans, the year before Hurricane Katrina.


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