In this vividly imagined account of first contact between Jesuit priests and the Huron in the seventeenth century, Boyden depicts two distinct cultures on a collision course. His portrayal of the conflict feels even-handed and realistic, not glorifying either side. Rich with details about Huron customs, this suspenseful, thought-provoking novel brings history to life.
“Wrenching and redemptive, The Orenda offers a narrative scope so wide it seems to encompass centuries and generations, despite taking place over only a few short years. Though Boyden's novel closely follows a strange trinity of the displaced and the mournful -- a powerful Wendat warrior scarred by the loss of his family, an ungainly but earnest Jesuit missionary, and the troubled, gifted Iroquois girl who equally unites and stands apart from them -- he writes of timeless and universal cycles of loss and regeneration and loss again. This is a staggeringly beautiful work.”
— Sam Kaas, Village Books, Bellingham, WA
WINNER OF THE LIBRIS AWARD -- FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR In the wilds of seventeenth-century North America, the lives of a Jesuit missionary, a young Iroquois girl, and a great warrior and elder statesman of the Huron Nation become entwined. The Huron have battled the Iroquois for generations, but now both tribes face a new, more dangerous threat from another land. Uneasy alliances are made and unmade, cultures and beliefs clash in the face of precipitous change, and not everyone will survive the march of history. Joseph Boyden's magisterial novel tells this story of blood and hope, suspicion and trust, hatred and love: a saga nearly four hundred years old--and now a timeless work of literature.
About the Author
Joseph Boyden's first novel, Three Day Road, won numerous awards including the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year. His second novel, Through Black Spruce, was awarded the Scotiabank Giller Prize and named the Canadian Booksellers Association Book of the Year; it also earned him the CBA's Author of the Year Award. The Orenda was a finalist for the Governor General's English Language Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Award, and won the Libris Book of the Year Award. In 2012, Boyden received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canadian art and culture. Boyden is a member of the creative writing faculty at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He divides his time between Northern Ontario and Louisiana.