By Rudy Wiebe
A Discovery of Strangers tells of the assembly of 2 civilizations – the 1st come upon of the nomadic Dene individuals with Europeans – in an innovative reconstruction of John Franklin’s first map-making excursion in 1819—21 in what's now the Northwest Territories. on the middle of the radical 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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And perhaps they even intended to acknowledge a few of the women whose names they never learned, the women who spliced meat and tanned hides to sew endless clothing for them that first fall, when the deer crowded so thickly to the river crossings that the hunters could have lanced them far more easily than blundered about with the racket and unending busyness of guns. But since the men had been given guns and powder and lead, and told to hunt with them, they ran along the shore, across the paths of hoofs worn hollow to the water, shooting now and then instead of floating in tiny canoes on the silent water and spearing fast.
Slowly one by one the women leave, back to their necessary fires. Greenstockings picks up her scraper. Her younger sister, Greywing, helps her pull the stretching-frame with its bloody hide into the low, pale light of the curing sun. In a few days the sun will not give enough warmth to lure the night ice off the lake even by noon, though it will still darken, harden the fat layered on a hide. Greywing has returned from her solitary tent, where, for a full cycle of the moon, she has been initiated into womanhood, and can now for the first time begin to speak among women.
But she does not look up; she is merely silent, working at their endless women’s labour. Slowly one by one the women leave, back to their necessary fires. Greenstockings picks up her scraper. Her younger sister, Greywing, helps her pull the stretching-frame with its bloody hide into the low, pale light of the curing sun. In a few days the sun will not give enough warmth to lure the night ice off the lake even by noon, though it will still darken, harden the fat layered on a hide. Greywing has returned from her solitary tent, where, for a full cycle of the moon, she has been initiated into womanhood, and can now for the first time begin to speak among women.