From the author of the YA-crossover hit The Marrow Thieves, a propulsive, stunning and sensuous novel inspired by the traditional Métis story of the Rogarou--a werewolf-like creature that haunts the roads and woods of Métis communities. A messed-up, grown-up, Little Red Riding Hood.
Broken-hearted Joan has been searching for her husband, Victor, for almost a year--ever since he went missing on the night they had their first serious argument. One terrible, hungover morning in a Walmart parking lot in a little town near Georgian Bay, she is drawn to a revival tent where the local Métis have been flocking to hear a charismatic preacher named Eugene Wolff. By the time she staggers into the tent, the service is over. But as she is about to leave, she hears an unmistakable voice.
She turns, and there Victor is. The same face, the same eyes, the same hands. But his hair is short and he's wearing a suit and he doesn't recognize her at all. No, he insists, she's the one suffering a delusion: he's the Reverend Wolff and his only mission is to bring his people to Jesus. Except that, as Joan soon discovers, that's not all the enigmatic Wolff is doing.
With only the help of Ajean, a foul-mouthed euchre shark with a knowledge of the old ways, and her odd, Johnny-Cash-loving, 12-year-old nephew Zeus, Joan has to find a way to remind the Reverend Wolff of who he really is. If he really is Victor. Her life, and the life of everyone she loves, depends upon it.
CHERIE DIMALINE's young adult novel The Marrow Thieves shot to the top of the bestseller lists when it was published in 2017, and has stayed there. It won the Governor General's Literary Award, the Kirkus Prize in the young adult literature category, the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature, was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award and, among other honours, was a fan favourite in the 2018 edition of CBC's Canada Reads. It was also a Book of Year on numerous lists including National Public Radio, the School Library Journal, the New York Public Library, the Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire and the CBC. Cherie was named Emerging Artist of the Year at the Ontario Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts in 2014, and became the first Indigenous writer in residence at the Toronto Public Library. From the Georgian Bay Métis Community in Ontario, she now lives in Vancouver.
“Empire of Wild will not let you go. Mix werewolves unlike you’ve ever read before with the mythos-expanding struggles of American Gods and blend with Cherie Dimaline’s newest heroine, the complex and wonderful Joan of Arcand, and the result is inventive, engrossing, poetic and thrilling. Empire is Dimaline’s most accomplished book yet.” —Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach and the Trickster trilogy
“Cherie Dimaline has written a wondrous and deeply felt novel about hypocrisy, power imbalance and the strange, dangerous space between reality and belief. Dimaline is one of the most honest and fearless writers of her generation, and Empire of Wild is an honest and fearless book.” —Omar El Akkad, author of American War
“A magical, electric novel that merges our modern urban world with the mythology of an uncolonized landscape. Dimaline’s descriptions are vivid and sordid and so, so alive. She creates a whole world of hope and hatred in the figure of a hot man in a ’79 Impala, and then takes you into the woods where a wolf dressed in a fine suit threatens to swallow you whole in disturbingly erudite language. The wonders of Indigenous values and their struggle to survive against insidious Western ideology and culture are framed in a wild adventure that cements Dimaline’s talents as a magical realist provocatrice.” —Heather O’Neill, author of The Lonely Hearts Hotel
“Empire of Wild is doing everything I love in a contemporary novel and more. It is tough, funny, beautiful, honest and propulsive—all the while telling a story that needs to be told by a person who needs to be telling it. The book feels like now, and we need more stories from Native communities to feel that way. She knows this community and this community will know she knows it when they read her, but it will resonate with so many more. Cherie Dimaline is a voice that feels both inevitable and necessary.” —Tommy Orange, author of There There
PRAISE FOR CHERIE DIMALINE AND HER PREVIOUS BOOKS:
“Dimaline creates a character of tremendous emotional depth and tenderness, connecting readers with the complexity and compassion of Indigenous people.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“There’s a quality in Dimaline’s writing that reached from the page, into my being.” —Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children’s Literature
“Dimaline’s novel reminds us of the power of storytelling and the importance of community, reinforced for the disenfranchised children by the wisdom of the heroic elder, Miigwans. The writing is painful yet beautiful, bleak but ultimately hopeful.” —Sunburst Award jury citation
“Dimaline’s ability to render [the dystopic formula] through warm, expressive writing makes it so much stronger.” —Citizens’ Press