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Midnight Sweatlodge

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  52 Ratings  ·  14 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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Sep 29, 2011 Pooker rated it really liked it
Shelves: canada, aboriginal
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
Florence Lyon
Jun 17, 2015 Florence Lyon rated it really liked it
Recommended to Florence by: Waubgeshig Rice
I found this a short read on a not-so-light topic. As we encounter characters in the midnight sweatlodge, we learn of their back stories, the shared pain from generations of alcohol abuse and domestic violence. It's a novel about the loss and rebirth of tradition, a community affected by external forces plus the corruption and greed of those in power. It does though provide a glimpse of hope for the future generations.

At times, I had to re-read certain sections to understand which story and time
Sep 27, 2015 Calinda rated it really liked it
A concise book of linked short stories with the sweat lodge becoming the reason these stories are being shared.

Waubgeshig Rice covers a lot of the themes of current indigenous literature - hurt, loss, suicide and pain. He could have concluded the book with those themes and it still would have been powerful.

But I found his final story to be a change from the rest, telling a very different story than the others heard in the sweat lodge. It wasn't hopeful exactly, I think it was a return to a diff
Daniel Perry
Dec 02, 2013 Daniel Perry rated it really liked it
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
Luce Cronin
Mar 19, 2016 Luce Cronin rated it it was amazing
Although this author is a journalist with many published pieces, this is his first published novel. He writes simply, with words that evoke situations and emotions very powerfully. This very short novel is constructed around the 4 people attending their first sweatlodge to enable them to start healing from the traumas in their lives. The novel ends with a somewhat prophetic story about the state of our society.
Dec 02, 2015 Marlies rated it really liked it
A powerful glimpse into the healing power of ceremony and storytelling. This book is important as it tells the struggles that our neighbours living in and the hope that comes with connecting to land and teachings.
Jul 20, 2014 Patricia rated it liked it
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 it was amazing
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.
Feb 17, 2013 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing
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!
May 24, 2015 Kim rated it it was amazing
Waubgeshig Rice is an incredible talent.
Apr 01, 2013 John rated it it was amazing
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:
Dec 17, 2012 Joanne rated it liked it
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
Nov 13, 2014 Jessica Walters rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canada
Very interesting…gave me a glimpse into lives very different from my own –which is always a positive thing for a book to do.
Aug 02, 2012 Angela rated it it was amazing
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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