A Discovery of Strangers by Rudy Wiebe

By Rudy Wiebe

A Discovery of Strangers tells of the assembly of 2 civilizations – the 1st come across of the nomadic Dene individuals with Europeans – in an ingenious reconstruction of John Franklin’s first map-making excursion in 1819—21 in what's now the Northwest Territories. on the middle of the unconventional is a love tale among twenty-two-year-old midshipman Robert Hood, the Franklin expedition’s artist, and a fifteen-year-old Yellowknife woman recognized to the British as Greenstockings. a countrywide bestseller, released additionally in Germany and China, Wiebe’s first novel in 11 years and his 12th paintings of fiction received him his moment Governor General’s Award for Fiction on the age of sixty, over robust festival from Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro.

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Indeed, well beyond the story memories of living grandmothers, it is told that children saw strange wood-chips dancing on the Desnede River, thin, curled chips that could not have been cut by a stone or copper axe. So sometimes, deep in the sleepy winter around warm fires, the elders tell the story of Jumping Marten, a woman so desirable she was stolen by enemies from the east. But she was too wise for any man to hold, she escaped and travelled alone, as only a woman can, until she found Stone House Whites far away, and she was the one who brought an iron axe and a needle and tea and a small kettle to the Tetsot’ine for the first time.

And for a time the two alpha wolves were joined together, were one great doubled animal whose every hair bristled red in the level blazing light; whose twin heads pointed in opposite directions, aimed still and alert towards whatever might materialize or threaten them from anywhere within the completed circle of the world. In the sinking light the caribou cow uncovered their afternoon food along a tilted esker, between erratics and the last dwarves of the treeline. Her yearling calf crowded down into the craters she dug, so tightly against her that sometimes he tore away from her teeth and lips the crusted lichen she unerringly smelled under the snow.

Elyáske. All the animals knew this, but they didn’t think about that. The silver wolf who lived with the caribou had never been anything but a wolf, and he would have defied any animal, and that included the seven members of his pack, to know his name. However, sometimes when the strands of their twilight howl strayed alone and united again over the long evening hills, or his voice deepened into that longer warning other males could only hear and avoid, the silver wolf remembered himself as roaming alone, a presence of untouchable enigma between the eskers and the ocean, an apparition so gigantic that people are like mosquitoes to him, trifles to swat and eat whatever tasty parts he deigns to tear out of them.

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