A Perfect Likeness, a new collection of two previously published novellas by celebrated author Richard Wagamese, is out now from Orca Book Publishers. It includes a foreword by Waubgeshig Rice, the national bestselling author of Moon of Crusted Snow and former host of CBC Up North.
This new volume brings together Him Standing and The Next Sure Thing, two stories that follow the lives of young men with dreams of a better future. In their search for fame and fortune, Cree Thunderboy and Lucas Smoke end up on paths where their biggest challenge is staying true to themselves.
Wagamese, who passed away in 2017, was an Ojibwe author and journalist from the Wabaseemoong Independent Nations in Northwestern Ontario. He was best known for his 2012 novel, Indian Horse, which won the 2013 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature, was a competing title in the 2013 edition of CBC’s Canada Reads and was adapted into a 2017 feature-length film of the same title, released after his death.
In Him Standing, Lucas Smoke learns the art of carving from his grandfather. He discovers that he is a natural; he can literally make people come to life in wood. But when Lucas is asked to carve a spirit mask by a mysterious stranger, he quickly learns that his skill with a knife could cost him his dreams.
In The Next Sure Thing, Cree Thunderboy has two things he does well: playing blues guitar and picking winning horses at the track. Picking winners is just meant to be a means to an end—Cree’s goal is to make his living playing the blues. He meets a powerful man at the racetrack who convinces him he can parlay his special skill with the horses into a shot at the fame and fortune he seeks.
These are two thrilling yet vulnerable stories of young men trying to find their place in the world.
Praise for Him Standing:
“In an efficient yet engaging writing style, Wagamese portrays Lucas as a likeable hero with a distinct voice and perspective. Amy acts as a solid foil to Lucas, and the two develop each other in showing their vulnerable sides…The pace is snappy; events follow on each other’s heels like dominoes at a rate sure to keep the reader hooked on the storyline. Recommended.”—CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“Wagamese dips into deep issues such as balance in the universe and the power of fear, and wraps them up into a mystical story. An impressive feat. Also impressive is the voice he creates for Lucas; the young man’s internal dialogue feels genuine throughout.”—The Coastal Spectator
Praise for The Next Sure Thing:
“[An] interesting and fast-paced read. One of the biggest strengths of the novel is Cree and his best friend, Ashton. Cree is honest and well developed.”—CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“A clever puzzle that features a young man seeking to make his way.”—Library Journal
“Wagamese, an Ojibway author and storyteller, has crafted a very strong story.”—Crowding the Book Truck blog
About Orca Book Publishers (orcabook.com)
Founded in 1984, Orca Book Publishers is an independently owned Canadian children’s book publisher of award-winning, best-selling books in a number of genres. With 1200 active titles in print and digital formats and 95 new titles each year, Orca prides itself on publishing Canadian authors and bringing them to a wider market.