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Five Little Indians: A Novel Paperback – Deckle Edge, April 14 2020
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WINNER: Canada Reads 2022
WINNER: Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction
WINNER: Amazon First Novel Award
WINNER: Kobo Emerging Author Prize
Finalist: Scotiabank Giller Prize
Finalist: Atwood Gibson Writers Trust Prize
Finalist: BC & Yukon Book Prize
Shortlist: Indigenous Voices Awards
National Bestseller; A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the Year; A CBC Best Book of the Year; An Apple Best Book of the Year; A Kobo Best Book of the Year; An Indigo Best Book of the Year
Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention.
Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn’t want them. The paths of the five friends cross and crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission.
Fuelled by rage and furious with God, Clara finds her way into the dangerous, highly charged world of the American Indian Movement. Maisie internalizes her pain and continually places herself in dangerous situations. Famous for his daring escapes from the school, Kenny can’t stop running and moves restlessly from job to job—through fishing grounds, orchards and logging camps—trying to outrun his memories and his addiction. Lucy finds peace in motherhood and nurtures a secret compulsive disorder as she waits for Kenny to return to the life they once hoped to share together. After almost beating one of his tormentors to death, Howie serves time in prison, then tries once again to re-enter society and begin life anew.
With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward.
Winner, Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
Finalist, Scotiabank Giller Prize
A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the Year
A CBC Best Book of the Year
An Apple Best Book of the Year
A Kobo Best Book of the Year
About the Author
MICHELLE GOOD is a writer of Cree ancestry and a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. After three decades of working with Indigenous communities and organizations, she obtained her law degree. She earned her MFA in creative writing at UBC while still practising law. Her novel, Five Little Indians, was nominated for the Writers’ Trust Award for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. It received the HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction, the Amazon First Novel Award, the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Five Little Indians was also chosen for Canada Reads 2022. Michelle Good’s poems, short stories and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies across Canada.
- Publisher : HarperCollins (April 14 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1443459186
- ISBN-13 : 978-1443459181
- Item weight : 340 g
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 1.93 x 22.86 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in Canada on September 28, 2022
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Top reviews from Canada
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Everyone needs to read this novel.
I began my Healing Journey back in Mid-May of last year within a week of the first 215 recoveries at the former Kamloops NDN Residential School, and the horrors I was confronted with about Residential Schools and specifically St.Anne’s Residential School where my Intergenerational Trauma all began. Needless to say, this has been an extremely painful year for me.
I had read a review about this book and how healing it has been for many and so I decided to buy and read it myself as a w ay to help me on my own Healing Journey.
I have read and listened to the stories of many Survivors of Residential Schools, and even though the characters and their pwrsonal experiences are fictional, that is the only thing that is fictional. The experiences included about Residential Schools however are VERY much REAL!
The horrors of Residential Schools continue to live with all Indigenous People in not only here in Canada, but throughout the World on lands that were originally Indigenous. The Intergenerational Trauma that exists within the descendants of Residential School Survivors as well as the other Assimilation Policies is real and is lasting.
This is definitely a MUST READ book for all those who truly want to learn about Canada's real history that continues to impact Indigenous Communities. If not done already, this book also needs to be added to the school curriculum so that students can learn the truth in a much deeper way than they already are!
Top reviews from other countries
I am searching for my Native ancestors. I hope they weren't subjected to the ugliness this book begins to address. My prayers are for our Spirit ancestors and the ones who just now are finding out about the horrors.
Michelle Good, thank YOU for your writing!