- J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing
- Initial publish date
- Oct 2022
Paperback / softback
- Publish Date
- Oct 2022
- List Price
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In 40,027 BCE (a time when the average human could only count to five), a grief-stricken Homo sapiens couple adopts a Neanderthal child. But language separates parents and child, only to then separate mother and father--and how do we love when we can't communicate? With that, a mythic journey of danger and sacrifice ensues, to connect to the Neanderthals and to protect the child at all costs. Orphan Song is a heroic tale of clashing cultures and an examination of how the bonds of family are truly formed.
About the author
Sean Dixon is a novelist and playwright, co-founder of the seminal 90s Winnipeg physical Theatre Company PRIMUS. His novels include The Girls Who Saw Everything (published in the UK as The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal) and The Many Revenges of Kip Flynn. His recent plays include Theatrefront's The Orange Dot, (which Toronto Star's Karen Fricker called a "finely nuanced observation of male-female interaction ... that is part triumph, part tragedy of wronged, vengeful women"), Blyth Festival's The Wilberforce Hotel (published by Scirocco, about a short-lived African American settlement in 1830's Ontario) and Tarragon Theatre's 'A God in Need of Help' , based on the true story of four strong men who were forced to carry a painting over the Alps in the early 17th Century (GG nominated for best new play). Upcoming is a play for the Tarragon (Orphan Song) about two different species of early humans involved in the elemental experience of adoption, and a children's picture book about a kid making a family tree.
Excerpt: Orphan Song (by (author) Sean Dixon)
Moon. Are you looking at me? Can you see me? Moon. You are looking at me. You can see me. I have these thoughts, I don't know how to express them. Do you understand anyway? Even if I have not found all the words for things that are buried deep within here? (She knocks on her head.) I must tell you that we are in great peril. The great peril of love. She will not bind herself to us. I am failing as a mother. With Gorse she fights and I cannot calm her. She would love me if I were better but I am not good and so she does not love me. Naturally, I was not meant to be a mother because you see my child died. You see. My child died. And in a lightning strike of love I claimed another child. And now this one does not bind herself to me because I am not fit to be a mother. And so we are going to lose everything. Everything. We are going to die.
But if we die, she dies. And she would have died if we had not taken her. So what choice did we have? Watch her die or else walk with her towards death.
Though it is true we are not walking with her. She is running away from us and we are running after her. Running very very fast towards death. Should we have left her Moon? Should we have just left her to die?
No! No I will not I would never I will never! If only she could speak. She does not have language. She just... hums and whistles like birds do. It's pretty but, what is it? Who is she? What is she? Is she a bird?
There is one hope that is also a hurt. She does love Gorse's mother. I am grateful for this and it also hurts. Oh, it hurts. She loves her easily. Why will she not love me?What does Gran have that I do not have? Other than clearly she was fit to be a mother because she has a son he is Gorse. But what else could there be something else? Could it be because she is weak and so they can both be weak together?
Moon, I cannot be weak. Moon, I have to be strong. But when I hold her and she struggles, I want to put her down and I want to lie down and go to sleep and let the big beasts come.
It's cold tonight, Moon. Big beasts are hungry and we have no fire. Bah.Pah.