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Permanent Astonishment

Paru le 28 septembre 2021
Permanent Astonishment
Maison d'édition
Prix 32.95$
Capri­cious, big-heart­ed, joy­ful: an epic mem­oir from one of Canada’s most acclaimed Indige­nous writ­ers and per­form­ers Tom­son High­way was born in a snow­bank on an island in the sub-Arc­tic, the 11th of 12 chil­dren in a nomadic, cari­bou-hunt­ing Cree fam­i­ly who tra­versed the tun­dra by dogsled and lived off the land. In Per­ma­nent Aston­ish­ment, one of the great­est writ­ers of our time ani­mates the mag­i­cal world of his north­ern child­hood, pay­ing trib­ute to a way of life that few have expe­ri­enced and few­er still have chron­i­cled. Grow­ing up in a land of ten thou­sand lakes and islands, Tom­son High­way rel­ished being pulled by dogsled beneath a night sky alive with stars; suck­ing the juices from roast­ed muskrat tails; and singing coun­try music songs with his impos­si­bly beau­ti­ful old­er sis­ter and her teenaged friends. Sur­round­ed by the love of his fam­i­ly and the vast, mes­mer­iz­ing land­scape they called home, his was in many ways an idyl­lic far north child­hood. But five of Tom­son’s sib­lings died in child­hood, and Bal­azee and Joe High­way, who loved their sur­viv­ing chil­dren pro­found­ly, want­ed their two youngest sons, Tom­son and Rene, to enjoy oppor­tu­ni­ties as big as the world. And so when Tom­son was 6, he and Rene were flown south by float plan to attend a res­i­den­tial school and begin the rest of their edu­ca­tion. In 1990 Rene High­way, a world-renowned dancer, died of an AIDS-relat­ed ill­ness. Per­ma­nent Aston­ish­ment is Tom­son’s extrav­a­gant embrace of his younger broth­er’s final words: Don’t mourn me, be joy­ful.” Infused with joy and out­ra­geous humour, Per­ma­nent Aston­ish­ment offers insights, both hilar­i­ous and pro­found, into the Cree expe­ri­ence of cul­ture, con­quest and survival.
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