Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory

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Product Details
$15.99  $14.87
Harper Perennial
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.3 X 0.7 inches | 0.48 pounds

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About the Author
David A. Robertson (he/him/his) is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award, has won the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, as well as the Writer's Union of Canada Freedom to Read award. He has received several other accolades for his work as a writer for children and adults, podcaster, public speaker, and social advocate. He was honoured with a Doctor of Letters by the University of Manitoba for outstanding contributions in the arts and distinguished achievements in 2023. He is a member of Norway House Cree Nation and lives in Winnipeg.

"This is the book I never knew I was waiting for but my whole body recognized when I read it. Black Water is mesmerizing, difficult, inviting, and tremendously gorgeous. It is a love letter about coming home. We are all better people because of the journey David took with his dad and I am forever grateful for having been allowed to accompany them. David A. Robertson is a treasure: kind, honest, and a master of storytelling. This is him at his best, and while I'm not sure we deserve him, we sure as hell need him." -- Cherie Dimaline, bestselling author of The Marrow Thieves and Empire of Wild

"When someone lives their life in a good way, the Haisla call them handsome people. David A. Robertson's biography is the perfect example of someone who takes care with his words and speaks respectfully; he tackles identity and racism, family bonds and breaks, with nuance and honesty. The power of this approach makes Black Water an essential and timely book." -- Eden Robinson, bestselling author of The Trickster Trilogy

"David A Robertson's memoir is rich in lore and insight and compassion. He explores Cree values and ideas and their richness and relevance in contemporary life. He does so by taking us through the story of one Indigenous family's journey through the twentieth century in Canada. We are faced with horrors and great loss, but also extraordinary warmth and heroics and a family who refused to ever be defined by anyone but themselves. A wondrous history lesson about love." -- Heather O'Neill, award-winning author of The Lonely Hearts Hotel

"Black Water is a deeply moving book about "[t]he experiences of one generation felt by the next, and the next after that... engrained in us through the stories we pass down as gifts." David A. Robertson writes of kinship and his father with enormous care, heart, and courage." -- David Chariandy, acclaimed author of Brother and I've Been Meaning to Tell You

"A story is a gift, and with Black Water, David A. Robertson is at his most generous. He shares, with candour and tenderness, a personal story of father-son love, deftly weaving it into a larger social and political history of loss, trauma, survival and resurgence. At once intimate and expansive, this is a story of healing and home." -- Rachel Giese, author of Boys: What it Means to Become a Man

"An honest and moving memoir that builds an emotional crescendo . . . .A richly revealing account that is revealing yet respectful." -- Galleries West

"A beautiful story of family and cultural ties remade anew." -- Chatelaine

"I found this book really brave, beautiful and nuanced in its exploration of indigenous identity, generational trauma and blood memory. The narrator has a keen eye that he is not at all afraid to turn on himself, balancing recrimination and self-implication, rage and forgiveness. When David's father says "I didn't want to tell you how to be an indigenous man because you are an indigenous man," we are deeply moved, even as the book has led us to believe that is not quite a good enough answer. That's what I mean by nuanced. There are no easy solutions to the problem of indigenous identity in the face of a racist nation and 500 years of genocide. There are only fathers and sons, finding their way along a trap line."
-- Jury citation for the High Plains Award (Pam Houston)