A daring post-apocalyptic novel from a powerful rising literary voice
With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow.
The community leadership loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision.
Blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn.
Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist originally from Wasauksing First Nation. His first short story collection, Midnight Sweatlodge, was inspired by his experiences growing up in an Anishinaabe community, and won an Independent Publishers Book Award in 2012. His debut novel, Legacy, followed in 2014. He currently works as a multi-platform journalist for CBC in Sudbury. In 2014, he received the Anishinabek Nation’s Debwewin Citation for excellence in First Nation Storytelling. Waubgeshig now splits his time between Sudbury and Wasauksing.
“This slow-burning thriller is also a powerful story of survival and will leave readers breathless.” — Publishers Weekly
Rice seamlessly injects Anishinaabe language into the dialogue and creates a beautiful rendering of the natural world . . . This title will appeal to fans of literary science fiction akin to Cormac McCarthy as well as to readers looking for a fresh voice in indigenous fiction.” — Booklist
“The creeping tension and vividly drawn landscapes make Waubgeshig Rice’s characters’ choices all the more real.” — Toronto Star
“Moon of the Crusted Snow sets itself apart — an apocalypse novel in reverse.” — Globe and Mail
“Rice complicates and demands a rethinking of the apocalyptic category itself, which is the book’s greatest revelation and strength . . . Rice’s writing is measured and he has a lovely ear for the cadence of conversation — humour, rage, and introspection all coming through the dialogue . . . Rice’s story teaches, but it’s not didactic; it’s original, and somehow takes the frenetic pace of a crisis, slows it down, and shows us its parts.” — Canadian Notes & Queries