Listen Joseph Boyden reads from 'Through Black Spruce'
Listen Joseph Boyden talks to MPR's Euan Kerr about 'Through Black Spruce'
Listen Joseph Boyden talks about the future of Native writing
Listen Joseph Boyden writes about the realities of modern native life
Four years ago, Canadian novelist Joseph Boyden burst onto the literary scene with "Three Day Road," a tale of two Canadian Cree Indians who volunteer as snipers during World War One.
Boyden is all about dichotomies. He is part Ojibwe and part Scots-Irish. He splits his time between New Orleans where he teaches and James Bay in Northern Ontario where he fishes and hunts on the reservation.
His new novel "Through Black Spruce" has two narrators.
The first is Will Bird, a hard drinking former bush pilot who is in a coma on a Cree reservation.
The second is his niece Annie. She also lives on the reservation, but leaves to work as a model, while trying to find her sister who has disappeared.
The book just won Canada's top literary award, the Giller prize.
Boyden told Minnesota Public Radio's Euan Kerr he chose the characters because he wanted to write about the extremes of modern native life.