Bestselling and award-winning author of Moon of the Turning Leaves
My name is Waubgeshig Rice and I’m an author and journalist living in Sudbury, Ontario.
I’m of Anishinaabe and Canadian descent, and grew up in my father’s home community of Wasauksing First Nation, an island community on Georgian Bay near Parry Sound.
I’ve written three novels and a short story collection. Other short stories and essays that I’ve written have been published in several anthologies.
I worked for nearly two decades as a journalist, mostly with CBC, while I wrote fiction in my spare time.
Recently I moved on from full-time journalism to make literature and storytelling my primary focus.
I was fortunate to grow up in a time when my home community was reclaiming and reconnecting with Anishinaabe culture and stories, and those experiences have largely informed and influenced the storytelling journey I’m on today.
It is a great honour and a privilege to write about and share our people’s historic and contemporary experiences. I do so with the utmost respect and humility.
My wife and I try to raise our three sons with the Anishinaabe principles passed down to us by our families and communities, and we are proud to share our way of life.
Chi-miigwech/big thanks for your interest in my work and stories!
2023 Tour Videos
“The humanity and heart on offer here make this a showstopper.”
“Rice puts a refreshing, Indigenous perspective on postapocalyptic tropes, folding in both nostalgia for a world fading away (“I haven’t had a pizza in thirteen years. That’s the first thing on my list!” muses one member of the scouting party) and hope for a different future from a people who have survived similar harsh conditions in the past.
The humanity and heart on offer here make this a showstopper.”
Moon of the Turning Leaves
Publisher: William Morrow (US)
Publication Date: February 27, 2024
20 years ago
the lights went out
20 years ago, on August 14, 2003, I was on the Rez when the lights went out.
When they finally came back on the next day, we learned it was one of the most widespread blackouts in history.
And then when I got back to the city a few days later, I thought, I’d like to write a novel about that someday.
Little did I know that when I eventually wrote that book, it would change my life. And now the second part of that story will be out in just a couple months.
In 2003, we learned that the cause of the blackout was an overloaded grid in Ohio that failed after power lines came in contact with trees.
That created a domino effect of power failures throughout several states and provinces.
In Moon of the Crusted Snow, I intentionally left out the cause of the blackout for the sake of intrigue and mystery, all the while keeping the fictional series of events to myself.
But in Moon of the Turning Leaves, I felt the need to peel back that curtain for several reasons. I’ll explain more when the book’s out in October.
You will get a fuller picture of how the world ended in this saga. You’ll just have to wait a little bit longer.
Find out more about the Northeast Blackout of 2003.
Advance praise for Moon of the Turning Leaves
“If you’ve ever wondered how the Anishinaabe way would fare after the Great Collapse, this is the novel for you.
Fans of McCarthy’s The Road and Kirkman’s The Walking Dead will feel right at home here with the intrigue, the dread and the hope.
the bestseller that started it all
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.
Advance praise for Moon of the Turning Leaves
“[Moon of the Turning Leaves] is by turns beautiful and inspiring and bleak and violent.
In other words, the perfect dystopian read.
Let’s hope Waubgeshig Rice doesn’t make us wait too long for the next visit to this captivating world.”
“… it’s always crucial to remember that the simple act of writing makes you a writer. No matter the scope of the publishing opportunity you have – whether it’s a blog or a book – your voice is valid, and your truth needs to be read.”