Moon of the Crusted Snow
2023 Canada Reads Longlist Selection
Winner of the 2019 OLA Forest of Reading Evergreen Award
Shortlisted for the 2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award
Shortlisted for the 2019/20 First Nation Communities READ Indigenous Literature Award
“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
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.
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“No matter what happens in your pursuit of a career in journalism, you’ll always have your community. That includes your home people and your circle of fellow Indigenous journalists. We’ll have your back, as those who came before us had ours. We may all come from different Indigenous nations and cultures on this land, but many of us share the essential responsibility of maintaining good relationships with one another and telling Indigenous stories properly and responsibly. That’s what kept me going for eighteen years.”