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Midnight Sweatlodge

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Midnight Sweatlodge tells the tale of family members, friends and strangers who gather together to partake in this ancient healing ceremony. Each person seeks traditional wisdom and insight to overcome pain and hardship, and the characters give us glimpses into their lives that are both tearful and true. Rice captures the raw emotion and unique challenges of modern Aborigi ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published June 23rd 2011 by Theytus Books
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I like to read native fiction. I usually find it challenging; I'm always grappling with that trickster dude. I have this idea that when I figure out the role this character plays, the better I will understand native culture and spirituality.

Well having read all 85 pages of this book, I didn't notice any trickster. Oh he might have been in there, but I didn't notice if he was. I was blindsided by the truth.

That is not to say that the book was lacking in spirituality and native culture. We are in
Daniel Perry
Waubgeshig Rice does more in these 96 pages (third edition, 2012) than I've seen some writers do over a thousand. Hard-hitting work rooted in reality, with only the right details included in the crisp language of the four short stories, all told at the titular venue. The stories lay plain the dichotomy of the modern world and native traditions and starkly show the challenges this presents, particularly the hardship of Reserve life. The book isn't without missteps - the fourth story, "Aasinaabe," ...more
This small book is mostly told through a young person. It is about life on an Anishinaabe reserve and we learn of a sweat lodge, protesters and death, young people trying to make their way and the obstacles to overcome.
Ann Doyon
Aug 18, 2011 Ann Doyon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young adults
Reading Waubgeshig Rice’s Midnight Sweatlodge makes you feel as though you’ve been punched in the gut. The story of a young man’s suicide and the loss of his spirit is hard to accept; you want him to live to fulfill his brilliant potential. Rice has created possibly the most unflinchingly realistic portrayal of Aboriginal life in Canada ever written. He captures the loss and rebirth of tradition with beguiling, subtle nuances. Midnight Sweatlodge is the inaugural work of a writer to watch.
A small book that packs an enormous punch - four linked stories that thrust us headfirst into the world of a First Nations community and connected through the experience that the characters have in participating in a "midnight sweatlodge" - held at midnight because of the interference of the white outsider communities that impact on the culture, traditions and day-to-day lives of First Nations peoples - poignant, profound and poetic - I hope we see more fiction from Waubgeshig Rice!
A short way into Waubgeshig Rice’s Midnight Sweatlodge I said to myself “This little book is a gem!” but now that I’ve finished reading and rereading it I say loudly “This big, grand book is deceptive in it’s tininess and it is not a single gem but a glistening, sparkling, icy string of brutally sharp-edged diamonds. . . .

I say more about Midnight Sweatlodge here:
An intimate glimpse at personal and community pain, and a wonderful exploration of the healing power of story-telling. Non-aboriginal readers have much to learn from this "sweatlodge" process. This tiny but beautifully written book packs a lot in!
Jessica Walters
Very interesting…gave me a glimpse into lives very different from my own –which is always a positive thing for a book to do.
Moving, thought provoking.
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Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist originally from Wasauksing First Nation. He developed a strong passion for storytelling as a child while learning about being Anishinaabe. The stories his elders shared and his unique experiences growing up in his community inspired him to write creatively. Some of the stories he wrote as a teenager eventually became Midnight Sweatlodge, his first collec ...more
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