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One Story, One Song

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  107 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
A new collection of warm, wise and inspiring stories from the author of One Native Life.

In One Story, One Song, Richard Wagamese explores the importance of stories: how they shape us, how they empower us, how they change our lives. Ancient and contemporary, cultural and spiritual, funny and sad, the tales are grouped according to the four essential principles Ojibway tradi
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Douglas & McIntyre (first published February 12th 2011)
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Toni McKilligan
Dec 29, 2012 Toni McKilligan rated it it was amazing
I read this book for Book Club and was expecting a novel. Imagine my surprise when it was a biography in a collection of essays. Imagine my delightful surprise! Richard Wagamese is full of delightful surprises. Not the least of which is his honesty. In One Story, One Song, Mr. Wagamese tells his story, from the abuse he suffered as a child to his years as a homeless man imprisoned by a bottle to his recovery and triumph over his addictions to finding peace and love, with humour and sincerity. I ...more
Jan 25, 2015 Mj rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes good literature and impactful stories
This is the second book by Richard Wagamese that I have read. It too is a collection of 2-5 page stories/teachings by Richard based on his personal experiences. This book was just as amazing, if not more so, than One Native Life. The book is packed full of gems of wisdom and love and caring. His choice of language and words is quite incredible. You can see and feel the wind and the land and the pain, whatever he is writing about, as if you were there with him or were him. His stories and craft a ...more
Dave Layzell
Aug 02, 2014 Dave Layzell rated it really liked it
I am so glad I read this after finishing Wagamese’s Indian Horse. This series of introspective essays details the painful start Richard had in his youth and early adult life along with the courage and open-heartedness he developed as he wrestled both the demons of his personal past and the horrors of our treatment of native peoples. Reading this book I took lots of contemplative pauses and came to better understand who Wagamese is as a person and how positive and forward looking his message is f ...more
Sep 06, 2011 Fran rated it really liked it
I'd wanted to know more about aboriginal culture and kind of just picked this one off the shelf. It's more about the author's personal life journey but has a lot of culture in it., especially about nature and animals and their symbolic meanings, which is very interesting. The author has a lot of wisdom about life based on nature, his roots and his personal experiences. He's learned more about life and how to treat people from his dog than from all the counselors, psychologists, psychyatrists, he ...more
Pamela McDowell
Feb 08, 2014 Pamela McDowell rated it really liked it
The structure of this book was a refreshing change - more journal-like and reflective than stories. The entries are fairly brief, just enough to bite off and chew on for the rest of the day. I found most of them thought-provoking and sometimes heart-wrenching. Some ideas have stuck with me, like the belief that birds are the souls of children. I will watch chickadees and crows with a different eye, thanks to this book.
I feel like Wagamese reached right into me and touched the most sensitive parts of my insides, while at the same time somehow setting me right atop a foundation so I felt like I could handle it.

A beautiful blend of borderland, dharma, fable and autobiography. I am so grateful for Wagamese for this book, it now takes a place of honour in the "revisits" area of my bookshelf.
Feb 08, 2014 Pickyreaderinblack rated it liked it
Ahhh - a restful walk through words. Mr. Wagamese's writing soothed me - transported me right to his side, when he took his walks along logging roads with his dog. He shared his story courageously and without judgement - shows he's truly done some healing over the hurt life dealt. Would love to meet him and spend about three hours over a coffee with him and his wife!
Mar 19, 2011 Vionna rated it liked it
Very interesting little book on his spiritual journey to find a better life. Everybody has a story to tell and he has told his very well and he listened to other people tell theirs and always finds something worthwhile in them. We all part of the same humanity.
Michelle Caron
Nov 18, 2015 Michelle Caron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Wagamese has done it again. Reading his books are like a breath of fresh air. The perfect combination of raw and hopeful that keeps me coming back for more. I read this book in the northernmost part of Finland surrounded by the minimal sunlight and pure untouched nature. Wagamese speaks to the connection with the land and asks us to remember we are mere inhabitants. He emphasizes that so much about Native spirituality is akin to what it means to be human. Community. Communication. Acceptance. Em ...more
Aug 01, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing
This compilation of essays touched my heart. What an inspiring and thoughtful read.
Aug 22, 2011 Annelies rated it it was amazing
Beautiful stories. He is such a good author
Aug 22, 2016 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Wow! I can't get enough of this writer. I have always had a close bond with nature; wondering what rocks had "seen" through the ages, listening to lapping water like a symphony and really only relaxing when I am near trees and a body of water. This book shares many of my sensibilities including the trauma of childhood. I certainly didn't suffer like Wagamese did or like most Native Canadians, but just enough to have empathy and for his memoirs to have meaning for me.
Jessie Burroughs
Oct 16, 2015 Jessie Burroughs rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend. I was totally enthralled after the first chapter. It's honest to goodness one of the most inspiring, illuminating, and enlightening books I've read. It's absolutely relatable, and applicable to all of us. I learned a little about native culture and how to be a more compassionate human too. I can agree with Joseph Boyden when he says "Richard Wagamese is a national treasure".
Aug 30, 2016 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Reading this book felt like listening to someone remind you how beautiful the human experience is, how great it is to be alive in this world, and how interwoven and interdependent our lives really are. I'd like to hope that every person can connect to every page of Wagamese's writing in this collection of experiences and lessons shared.
Tina Siegel
May 03, 2013 Tina Siegel rated it really liked it
A lovely book! I'd have no idea how to describe it, beyond ruminations on humility, wisdom, introspection and courage. In terms of form, they're something between personal essays and flash fiction. In terms of artfulness, they're fantastic. Wagamese is a gentle, generous, unadorned writer and his work is a pleasure to read.

The only sour note for me was that, toward the end, all the various pieces started running together. I felt like I always knew what was coming, and I got impatient.

Still, a gr
Lise Pomerleau
Apr 10, 2016 Lise Pomerleau rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed the gentle beauty of this book. I loved his voice and his positive messages. Signed up for a workshop with Richard Wagamese. Lovely. I just had the workshop with Richard. It was truly amazing. Best workshop I have ever attended. He has a gift not only for writing but also for teaching.
Luce Cronin
Apr 01, 2016 Luce Cronin rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this collection of short stories written in autobiographical style of sorts. The teachings from each story are very powerful. Makes use of Ojibway sacred stories to enable us to follow the author through his life and learning.
Shar Wallis
Jun 22, 2012 Shar Wallis rated it liked it
This is touted as a collection of short stories. It was more like a collection of thoughts, memories and short essays.
Nov 19, 2014 Christine rated it liked it
Shelves: canadiana, memoir
I loved the message of this book; that we are all in this together. A comforting read.
Bree Riley
Ok but. I need to read everything by Richard Wagamese.
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Richard Wagamese is one of Canada's foremost Native authors and storytellers. Working as a professional writer since 1979 he's been a newspaper columnist and reporter, radio and television broadcaster and producer, documentary producer and the author of eleven titles from major Canadian publishers.

An esteemed public speaker and storyteller, he lives in the mountains outside of Kamloops BC with his
More about Richard Wagamese...

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“The head has no answers, and the heart has no questions, Jack would say."

Quoting his teacher and good friend Jack Kakakaway”
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