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Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Paperback – July 14 2020

4.7 out of 5 stars 332 ratings

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Product description

Review

**Finalist for the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize**
**Shortlisted for the 2020 BC and Yukon Book Prizes**
**National Bestseller**
**A Hill Times' Best Book of 2019**


"This riveting exposé of the national scandal of Indigenous women and girls murdered on Highway 16 in northwestern British Columbia reads like crime fiction. But this is true crime, and many of the killers have not been brought to justice. McDiarmid's scrupulously documented account tells some of these women's stories and recounts the anguish of their damaged communities. Highway of Tears is a wake-up call for Canada. It challenges not only the police and the government, but all citizens to find a way forward through this legacy of racism, sexism and violence." —RBC Taylor Prize jury citation (Margaret Atwood, Coral Ann Howells and Peter Theroux)

"In this important book, Jessica McDiarmid offers a history of what she calls 'Canada's dirtiest secret" that is both methodical and moving, yet filled with a quiet determination for justice. . . .  She writes poetically and lovingly of the region, while revealing the terrible losses concealed by its dark forests and lonely sections of road. . . . McDiarmid has done great service to both the victims and their families in telling the stories of these lives and the pain left behind by their loss—stories every Canadian should know and remember." —Winnipeg Free Press

"Urgent and eye-opening. . . . Its conclusions are uncomfortable at best, and damning at worst; it is easily one of the most essential works of nonfiction of the year. . . .  Searingly necessary." —The Week

"Jessica McDiarmid, a journalist specializing in human rights stories, spent years digging into the lives and deaths of the [missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls of Highway 16] and, while she solved no crimes, she does bring the dead back to life long enough for us to see them as people instead of victims. McDiarmid has reconstructed lives impacted by poverty and addiction, discovered hopes and families torn apart and joined in healing events to restore the dead to their communities in this skillfully written and carefully researched book. . . . This isn’t a nice book with a tidy end but it is a bracing look at a national problem." —The Globe and Mail

"An extraordinary book." —Whoopi Goldberg, The View

"These murder cases expose systemic problems. . . . By examining each murder within the context of Indigenous identity and regional hardships, McDiarmid addresses these very issues, finding reasons to look for the deeper roots of each act of violence." —New York Times Book Review

"Canadian journalist McDiarmid debuts with a heart-wrenching account of the more than 1,200 indigenous women and girls who have gone missing or were found murdered along Highway 16. . . . This moving, well-sourced book is essential reading for anyone who cares about social injustice." —Publishers Weekly

"Meticulously researched and heartbreakingly readable, the book calls out the tragedy and travesty behind the crisis along the Highway of Tears." —Ms.

"Powerful. . . . Canadian journalist and first-time author McDiarmid, who grew up near the highway, traces in agonizing detail the lives and fates of several of those women, but the narrative is much more than just a list of tragedies. . . . A difficult but essential read." —Kirkus Reviews

"[Highway of Tears] shines a powerful light on an ongoing crisis. . . . McDiarmid's exposé of racism and the lack of justice for indigenous women should be required reading for all." —Library Journal

"McDiarmid's touching, poignant account intricately details the backgrounds of many of the victims, and their families and loved ones. She deftly explains the continuous circle of blatant racism, depression, hopelessness, poverty and addiction faced by the women, brought on by lack of opportunity and, frankly, by the lack of care from the government." —Booklist

"Powerful." —Refinery29

"A searing account of how systemic racism robbed these victims of justice and continues to endanger Indigenous women and girls in Canada." —Paste Magazine

About the Author

JESSICA McDIARMID is a Canadian journalist who has worked across North America and Africa. She has written for numerous publications and worked for Journalists for Human Rights. McDiarmid grew up along the Highway of Tears and currently lives in British Columbia. This is her first book.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Random House of Canada (July 14 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0385687591
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0385687591
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 454 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.37 x 2.36 x 22.83 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 332 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
332 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Top reviews from Canada

Reviewed in Canada on December 14, 2020
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Reviewed in Canada on May 4, 2021
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Reviewed in Canada on May 20, 2021
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Reviewed in Canada on January 20, 2020
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Reviewed in Canada on October 13, 2020
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Reviewed in Canada on July 22, 2021
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Reviewed in Canada on December 21, 2020
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Reviewed in Canada on May 14, 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

Ross Gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping "Must Read" Book
Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2019
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6 people found this helpful
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Patti from Brooklyn
3.0 out of 5 stars Racism against First Nation Women in Canada
Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2020
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4 people found this helpful
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LauMic
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling account of Indigenous women in Canada
Reviewed in the United States on December 23, 2019
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5 people found this helpful
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Ramsey Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting this book for everyone!!
Reviewed in the United States on June 25, 2020
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4 people found this helpful
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Kat
5.0 out of 5 stars Important Topic, Informative Book
Reviewed in the United States on March 15, 2020
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2 people found this helpful
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