Celia’s Song

By (author): Lee Maracle

Mink is a witness, a shape shifter, compelled to follow the story that has ensnared Celia and her village, on the West coast of Vancouver Island in Nuu’Chahlnuth territory.


Celia is a seer who — despite being convinced she’s a little “off” — must heal her village with the assistance of her sister, her mother and father, and her nephews.


While mink is visiting, a double-headed sea serpent falls off the house front during a fierce storm. The old snake, ostracized from the village decades earlier, has left his terrible influence on Amos, a residential school survivor. The occurrence signals the unfolding of an ordeal that pulls Celia out of her reveries and into the tragedy of her cousin’s granddaughter.


Each one of Celia’s family becomes involved in creating a greater solution than merely attending to her cousin’s granddaughter.


Celia’s Song relates one Nuu’Chahlnuth family’s harrowing experiences over several generations, after the brutality, interference, and neglect resulting from contact with Europeans.

AUTHOR

Lee Maracle

Lee Maracle is an author and critic born in Vancouver. A prolific First Nations writer and expert on First Nations culture and history, Lee Maracle is an influential Aboriginal voice in Canadian postcolonial criticism.

Reviews

“Vividly brings to life the destructive legacy of colonial times — and a community’s capacity for healing.”
“Maracle does not shy away from the worst social ills pulling the community apart – suicide, alcoholism, and sexual abuse among them – but she denies the fatalistic view, offering room for hope instead.”
“In gentle yet powerful prose, Maracle underscores the horrifying impact of the Residential School System, the ongoing problem of suicide, and the loss of tradition that continue to plague First Nations communities.”
“Maracle in no way suggests that the answers to Canada’s colonial past are clear, but she tells a fiercely honest and wonderfully compassionate story.”
“If you care about reconciliation and justice in Canada, ferociously beautiful prose and complex, compassionate character development, make time this year to listen to Celia’s song.”
“There is no book that I’ve read that has had such an emotional impact. A stunning achievement. It is one of the absolute best books I’ve read in years and years.”
“Tremendous.”
– Waubgeshig Rice

“Reading Lee Maracle’s Celia’s Song feels like the best breathing I’ve ever done. It’s like finding an unlikely friend who truly recognizes me … both the content and structure of Celia’s Song transcend my limited worldview and expand my experience of humanity.”
“Lee Maracle is one of Canada’s bravest literary voices. She writes with clear-eyed fierceness.”
“Cedar speaks. Bones demand the burial and loyalty due to them. Scents unravel memories. A two-headed serpent dislodges itself from a longhouse and wreaks havoc. Stories fiction themselves, have their own mind. Humans trip on the restless past, remember the future. And a shape-shifting mink, witness par excellence, watches it all unfold under its unflinching eye. Lee Maracle’s Sto:lo characters re-discover, against all odds, the restoring power of ceremony. Disturbing and heartbreaking, but also uplifting and inspirational, Celia’s Song is mind-changing.”
– Smaro Kamboureli

“The story Maracle tells is one that makes intimate links between personal and cultural renewal, and illuminates the deep value of doing things ‘just as her ancestors would have.’”

Awards

  • ReLit Award 2015, Short-listed
  • Neustadt International Prize for Literature 2020, Short-listed
  • CBC Canada Reads 2015, Long-listed
  • CTV Ottawa Best Reads of the Season 2014, Commended
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    Details

    Dimensions:

    288 Pages
    8.50in * 5.50in * .65in
    340.00gr

    Published:

    October 01, 2014

    City of Publication:

    Toronto

    Country of Publication:

    CA

    Publisher:

    Cormorant Books

    ISBN:

    9781770864511

    9781770864184 – EPUB

    Book Subjects:

    FICTION / Literary

    Featured In:

    All Books

    Language:

    eng

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