Joseph Boyden – from the archives

The winner of the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize


Joseph Boyden

Joseph Boyden won the prestigious $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize tonight for his latest novel, Through Black Spruce.

Here’s a look back at some of his work that has appeared in Maclean’s over the last few years:

The day the earth shook
On the 90th anniversary of Canada’s battle at Vimy Ridge, novelist Joseph Boyden returns to the trenches, conjuring a few of the fallen

Prophecies and power
Writer Joseph Boyden discovers big plans afoot for the other James Bay watershed

‘We need to go home’
Novelist Joseph Boyden on picking up the pieces in New Orleans, his adopted city

A desperate sense of optimism
Joseph Boyden goes back to New Orleans and finds desolation — and hope — among the ruins

Turns out life isn’t a carnival
Joseph Boyden tries to get into the spirit of the first post-Katrina Mardi Gras, but something just feels wrong


Joseph Boyden – from the archives

  1. I have just seen a replay of the Giller event. I was surprised that the intro video was taken in Banff and not in the James Bay coastal area. Mind you it is probably cheaper to get to Banff and it certainly is more beautiful. I am sure the fishing is O.K. in the James Bay area although Arctic Char seem to prefer the east side rather than the west side of the Bay I travelled to Moosonee-Moose Factory once a month, and the coastal communities three times a year for fifteen years beginning in 1982. Although it was not my purpose I did pick up many of the more subtle causes and effects of the early and present story of the people. It will be interesting to read Joseph Boyden’s book which I plan to do as soon as possible.

  2. I am a 25 year old James bay Cree livin in alberta right now. I have known joe for about 10 years now. Even though we haven’t seen each other in a while. He tutored me in moosonee ont for about a year. We got to know each other i guess. The last i seen joseph was on the train from Moosonee to Cochrane, Ont. he was going on a camping trip with his son Jacob. I actually was on my way to join my father on a cross country journey. Me and my father were walking across the country from Cochrane Ontario to the foothills of Alberta, which took three monthsd to complete. Me and Joseph had a litle chat on the train, but lost touch. If I could get ahold of Joseph I would really want to get together. I am very happy to hear that Joseph has won an award for his new book. If maybe you could get this comment to Joseph I would love to hear from him. I think he would remember me.

  3. lol sorry about all the mispelled writing. Proof I am a James Bay Cree.

  4. I just completed reading Through Black Spruce. Read was awaited with great anticipation having undergone hugely satisfying results from Three Day Road. Very disappointing. No comparison between stories. Recommended and shared widely Three Day Road with fellow educators and Metis family members all of whom praised the book highly. I am not recommending this one. Three Day Road was riveting and one of those books you ‘can’t put down’ and you don’t want to finish reading because you can’t bear the thought of not being able to read it further. Three Day Road was a Giller Book. IMHO, Through Black Spruce (TBS) is the ‘oops, sorry, we should have recognized your writing with your other book but we didn’t so we’ll do it now’. Sorry JB but that’s the way some of us see it and you may know that in your heart of hearts as well. Giller awarding people, you really need to re-think your selections and timing!

    In parting, Jospeph Boyden, Indians or better, Aboriginals (because I am one) never talk about cooking ‘dinner’ (detail from TBS – page escapes me). That word belongs to the white man’s world!

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