Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

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80,000 words
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Canada: ECW Press, October 2018
France: Les Arènes
French Canada: Mémoire d’encrier
Germany: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach


Waubgeshig Rice (Photo: Sarah Rice)
(Photo: Sarah Rice)

Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist originally from Wasauksing First Nation. His first short story collection, Midnight Sweatlodge, was inspired by his experiences growing up in an Anishinaabe community, and won an Independent Publishers Book Award in 2012. His debut novel, Legacy, followed in 2014 and was published in French in 2017. His latest novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was released in October 2018.
Waub got his first taste of journalism in 1996 as an exchange student in Germany, writing articles about being an Anishinaabe teen in a foreign country for newspapers back in Canada. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002. He's worked in a variety of news media since, reporting for CBC News for the bulk of his career. In 2014, he received the Anishinabek Nation's Debwewin Citation for excellence in First Nation Storytelling. He is best known as the host of Up North, CBC Radio's afternoon show for northern Ontario.

Moon of the Crusted Snow

a novel by Waubgeshig Rice


“The novel’s most significant achievement may be its mood. From mundane beginnings, the book increases its tension continuously across its 200 pages. It’s a cliché, but this book is hard to put down. Written with such guilelessness that it’s easy to read, and with such strong linearity and so little waste that it’s extremely absorbing, Moon of the Crusted Snow is a humble but welcome addition to apocalyptic literature.”— LOCUS

“This slow-burning thriller is also a powerful story of survival and will leave readers breathless.”— PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Moon of the Crusted Snow asks how do we live in a good way during the collapse of the infrastructure that supports modern life? For Evan Whitesky, the answer lies in rekindling Ojibwe, the old ways, language and culture. For other characters, when the food runs out, all options are on the table, no matter how gruesome. As the tensions between those surviving the end of modern civilization build to a harrowing conclusion, Rice deftly weaves tender family moments with his brutal survival scenes in the unforgiving northern Ontario winter. Chilling in the best way possible.”— EDEN ROBINSON, award-winning author of Monkey Beach and Son of a Trickster

Moon of the Crusted Snow

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 leadearship 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.



“The rising literary star has created an unsettling story about a snowbound northern Anishinaabe community, where a postapocalyptic reality—no power, dwindling food, chaos—slowly creeps its way through the band. A young man, Evan Whitesky, seeks to restore hope and order to his community by turning to the land—to Anishinaabe tradition. A stellar Indigenous thriller.”— THE GLOBE AND MAIL

“With winter approaching, it’s the perfect book to read and reflect on our own lifestyles and points of view.”— WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

“We've been waiting for this story. It irresistibly turns our gaze toward something we already knew, but couldn't quite make ourselves see. The result is intense, thrilling and vivid as the darkest dreams-much like the old Anishinaabeg stories told by the Elders. As one revelation follows another, we come face to face with the mystery and responsibility of being human.”— WARREN CARIOU, Director, University of Manitoba Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture

“Moon of the Crusted Snow is an uncommon dystopia, both wistful and tough, in which there’s nothing all that new about the end of everything.”— FOREWORD REVIEWS

“Moon of the Crusted Snow gets straight to the point with minimal fluff but still adds enough detail so you feel like you’re a part of the roller coaster nosediving into hell… I give this novel 4 out of 5 stars and would absolutely recommend you add it to your TBR’s when it comes out October 2nd, 2018.”— STARLIGHT BOOKS blog

“The creeping tension and vividly drawn landscapes make Waubgeshig Rice’s characters’ choices all the more real.”— TORONTO STAR

“I found this book quietly gripping. It’s not action-packed, but the fate of the community is in peril and the thought process of many of the characters is compelling… I didn’t want this story to end.”— CONSUMED BY INK blog

“A warning shot fired for all who read this: what would you do if everything suddenly turned off? How long would you and your family and your community last? Terrifying, riveting, outstanding. This. Could. Happen. Waubgeshig Rice, you just scared the hell out of me with this book. Bravo, Sir! I am in awe of you and I am haunted by the tension you've unleashed here. Stock up: winter and strangers who are starving are on their way. Unforgettable. I loved it.”— RICHARD VAN CAMP, author of The Lesser Blessed and Godless but Loyal to Heaven

“Akin to Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves or Cormac McCarthy's The Road, this book speculates a catastrophic, changing world while telling a riveting story that is as potent as anything in modern fiction. Rice gives us fully lived in, authentic characters that demand our attention and empathy. Because of that, there is hope in this long and bleak winter, and a surging power at the heart of this book that cannot be smothered.”— KEVIN HARDCASTLE, author of In the Cage and Debris

“I thought Waubgeshig Rice did a great job showing how panic slowly made its way into the heads of the community leaders as well as townsfolk… With Moon of the Crusted Snow, Waubgeshig Rice has written a novel laced with anxiety.”— EVERY READ THING blog

“Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice is a brilliant read and a unique one. It has an in-depth narrative but also shows a pride in the ways of a culture that is complex and unique. In short, it is a great addition to the 2018 fall collection of new books.”— THE LIBRARY OF PACIFIC TRANQUILITY blog

“Waubgeshig Rice is the CBC host of Up North. He is also a damn fine writer whose Moon of the Crusted Snow set my nerves on end. Which few books do… His novel is the latest (and greatest) apocalyptic work I have read.”— OWEN SOUND SUN TIMES

“In addition to being a new spin on the tech-pocalypse, it’s also an eerie, slightly fabulist novel… If you want a thoughtful, uncanny, snow-bound read that will have you battening your hatches for winter and rethinking what apocalypse means, pick this one up ASAP.”— BOOK RIOT'S SWORDS & SPACESHIPS

“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


Moon of the Crusted Snow - French Canadian edition



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