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North Spirit

Travels Among The Cree And Ojibway Nations And Their Star Maps

by Paulette Jiles

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native american studies
list price: $24
also available: Paperback
category: Social Science
published: 1996
publisher: Doubleday Canada

In 1974, when Paulette Jiles was first sent by the CBC to work as a journalist in Big Trout Lake, a village without radio or television in remote northern Ontario, she didn't know a bush plane from a backpack.

North Spirit is based on the seven years Jiles spent working with the northern Cree and Ojibway peoples, who call themselves Anishinabe.  This lyrical, witty and reflective book evokes a time when new technology is beginning to clash with the traditioinal culture.

At its center is the author's search for the meaning of the remote and sometimes terrifying Oda-Ka-Daun, or Stern Paddler, who moves his cosmic vessel through the heavens.  As she seeks to unravel this mystery, Jiles recounts her many adventures among the Anishinabe people and reveals the enduring legacy of their northern mythology.

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Contributor notes

Paulette Jiles was born and raised in the Missouri Ozarks, and now has dual citizenship with Canada. Jiles has won awards for her poetry and fiction. Her first novel, Enemy Women (2002), was internationally acclaimed and won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. She lives with her husband in San Antonio, Texas.

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Editorial Review

"North Spirit is a book full of riches- riches of humour, riches of observation, conveyed in prose as clear and hard as the winter light of northern Ontario."
                -Philip Marchand, The Toronto Star

"What a gifted writer Jiles is: she writes as naturally as breathing, and yet with passages that soar into the most eloquent and beautiful poetry.  And the story she tells here is fascinating.  I loved this book."
           -Sharon Butals, author of The Perfection of the Morning

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About the Author

Paulette Jiles

Paulette Jiles is a novelist, poet, and memoirist. She is the author of Cousins, a memoir, and the novels Enemy Women, Stormy Weather, The Color of Lightning, Lighthouse Island, and News of the World, which was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award. She lives on a ranch near San Antonio, Texas.

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