Shortlisted for the Leacock Medal for Humour
The hilarious story of an unlikely group of Indigenous dancers who find themselves thrown together on a performance tour of Europe
The Tour is all prepared. The Prairie Chicken dance troupe is all set for a fifteen-day trek through Europe, performing at festivals and cultural events. But then the performers all come down with the flu. And John Greyeyes, a retired cowboy who hasn't danced in fifteen years, finds himself abruptly thrust into the position of leading a hastily-assembled group of replacement dancers.
A group of expert dancers they are not. There's a middle-aged woman with advanced arthritis, her nineteen-year-old niece who is far more interested in flirtations than pow-wow, and an enigmatic man from the U.S. -- all being chased by Nadine, the organizer of the original tour who is determined to be a part of the action, and the handsome man she picked up in a gas-station bathroom. They're all looking to John, who has never left the continent, to guide them through a world that he knows nothing about. As the gang makes its way from one stop to another, absolutely nothing goes as planned and the tour becomes a string of madcap adventures.
The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour is loosely based -- like, hospital-gown loose -- on the true story of a group of Indigenous dancers who left Saskatchewan and toured through Europe in the 1970s. Dawn Dumont brings her signature razor-sharp wit and impeccable comedic timing to this hilarious, warm, and wildly entertaining novel.
About the author
Dawn Dumont is a Plains Cree comedian and actress born and raised on the Okanese First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada. Dawn has made people laugh at comedy clubs across North American, including New York’s Comic Strip, the New York Comedy Club, and the Improv. She began her comedy career in Toronto on stages such as Yuk Yuk’s and the Laugh Resort. Dawn is currently a comedy writer for CBC Radio and the Edmonton Journal, and is a Story Editor for By the Rapids, an animation comedy series on APTN. Dumont’s writing has been published in the anthologies Native Women in the Arts and Gatherings, as well as in Rampage Literary Journal. Her personal essay “Transformations” was published by Toronto’s Now Magazine. Most recently her play, Nicimis (Little Brother) was workshopped at Native Earth’s Performing Arts Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival in Toronto, with artistic director Alanis King. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta. Nobody Cries at Bingo published by Thistledown Press in 2011 is a rare and beautiful fictional memoir of her growing up in the culture of the Okanese First Nation.
"It's a joy to watch the world open up for these characters, to see them heal and make discoveries about themselves, returning home stronger and more confident than when they left. . . . there are the moments of unapologetic Indigenous joy that Dumont writes lovingly and with such care: sharing meals and stories of heartache, swapping gifts and ceremony, finding common ground between nations." — Quill and Quire
Praise for Dawn Dumont
"The sassy, spirited humour just keeps barrelling along. There is nothing quite like laughter to erase intolerance and embrace cultural differences, and this is one of the best antidotes to racism on bookshelves to date." — St. Albert Gazette
"Intelligent and worthwhile." — Gwen Benaway, Winnipeg Review
"Dumont's talent for comedy shines in a great deal of snappy, wry wit." — Quill and Quire