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Fearless Warriors

Fearless Warriors
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Limited Quantities
Author: Drew Hayden Taylor
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 191
Pub. Date: 1998
ISBN-10: 0889223955
ISBN-13: 9780889223950
About the Book:

Internationally acclaimed as a playwright, screen-writer, comic and sardonic commentator on the endless gaffs, absurdities and the profound and painful misunderstandings that continue to characterize social interactions between aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples, Drew Hayden Taylor's stories in Fearless Warriors are a full frontal assault on stereotypes of all kinds and an edifying affirmation of humanity unlike anything else in fiction.

Each of these stories is as remarkably different in terms of its unique narrative tone, origin and direction, as are the characters of his plays, making Taylor's singular collection of fictions quite intentionally much more than the sum of their parts. By degrees dramatic, shocking, tender, chilling, affirmative and tragic, each story takes on a different cliché or common sense understanding of inter-racial and inter-cultural relations, all of them suffused with the incomparable wit, gentle and generous humour, mercilessly critical edge and profound emotional empathy of a master story-teller.

No quarter is given, nor is it taken — Native stereotypes of White culture are as fair a species of game for this writer as any other. Ultimately, each of these narratives becomes a bridge of understanding between cultures, giving its readers access to the seemingly inexplicable actions of characters at the distant edges of our imaginations — even just one of these stories, The Boy in the Ditch, does more to illuminate the tragedy of the pre-teen gasoline sniffing culture of Davis Inlet than any number of Royal Commissions will ever do.

Carefully re-edited, with its concluding story replaced, this new edition of unforgettable stories first published in 1998.

What people say:

"...his intriguing style and his willingness to share his innermost thoughts help to make Drew Taylor's work a winner in this reviewer's eyes… stories that are not only unusual, unique and uncanny, buy thought-provoking, stimulating and nostalgic. Taylor's realistic storytelling ability pulls no punches in its recollection of the way it was or could have been — if these stories are really true. The realism of Taylor's writing technique will have every reader wondering whether or not any or all of the events in these fantastic stories ever really happened…. Full of puns, winding roads and brilliant, if not startling conclusions, Taylor relates the stories as though they were coming from his own personal experiences. There's a little tragedy and a little triumph and a great deal of irony and it's a hundred to one odds that anyone who reads Fearless Warriors will recognize a little of themselves in at least one of the characters." — Alberta Native News

"...a compact bundle of humour, sensitivity and wisdom. A book to be enjoyed by readers of all ages… hard to put down… it's fun, it's funny, it's poignant, it's sensitive. You catch yourself smiling alone in a room…. Drew bravely and masterfully touches up all of his stories with humour where one usually would not find it." — Anishinabek News

"If these works have anything in common, it is that they come from an unexpected source, from places about which one cannot make easy assumptions… The narrator's voice is, in contrast, gentle, unemphatic, ironic; sometimes speaking with a forthright underdog gallows humour, and sometimes with depth and subtlety.... Relationships and lines of communications are constantly queried. No one and nothing is allowed to settle into stasis." — Canadian Literature

"...a collection of twelve engaging tales…. As in his plays, the main strength here is Taylor's unique voice. He uses his very dry and sardonic wit to cajole the reader's admission and recognition of some of our species strangest behaviour. Taylor's tales are made rich through the very real and engaging characters.... (Taylor's main character) moves through life with a bemused resignation and sense of humour that allows him to ride the line of sanity. Taylor's significance as a native writer stems from his ability to draw attention to serious issues in a playful way that makes the reader want to listen. He encourages us to chuckle at ourselves and the strange and sometimes misguided things we do. Fearless Warriors is a thoroughly enjoyable book from an excellent storyteller. Drew Hayden Taylor has proven himself to be an artist unbound by genres and always entertaining." — Aboriginal Voices

"Andrew is sympathetic, sarcastic, ironic and emotionally invested with his friends and neighbours.... These stories are full of such whimsical (and often heart wrenching) forays into the lives of characters…. These stories delight me as that visitor…. We are delighted by Andrew's satirical remarks as much as we recognize the force and subtlety behind his insightful barbs.... This is an intriguing and astonishing narrative. The relationship between narrator and his characters and between narrator and the constructed narratee remains a rich and effective one.... It is the narrative of the expected and the surprised, of the hidden tale and the abrupt revelation of the mystery that is story." — Canadian Forum

"Sometimes there is a clash, sometimes there is light created by the meetings, but always there is a perceptive and compassionate insight into the lives of the people, Native and non-Native, presented in these stories…. "Ice Screams" is one of the best stories I've ever read about dealing with death and its aftermath of loss and nightmare. While all the stories have characters who are Native, the themes are universal; they are about the human condition…worth the effort needed to find this book and read it!" — Haldimand Press

"The stories are characterized by wit and gentle, generous humour... through it all runs a positive and lighthearted affirmation of humanity, despite, intrinsic frailties and overwhelming external odds… they are rescued from (cliche) by Taylor's keen observations, witty comments, and compassionate style... one of the most powerful and moving themes of the book is the adoption of babies out of the community by an alien and all-powerful bureaucracy." — World Literature Today

"...laced with irony, love, and anger – the last generally understated but powerful nonetheless... the young people of these stories are fearless warriors in a way, true to their perceptions, stepping carefully around the dangers all around, walking into the future with clear eyes." — Letters in Canada

"...have a realistic cast of characters and compelling situations. These stories are complete with endings that derive naturally from the character's actions and the situations... older teens will enjoy these stories for their authentic characters and unsentimental portrayal of the responsibilities of friendship and family ties. As well, the book would be a useful addition to collections needing material with a realistic treatment of the lives of Native Canadians." — Betty McDougall

"The funniest situations, unfortunately, are those borne from somebody's misfortune, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that Taylor has written a collection of short stories that examines pain, without mining it for pain…. It's this direct tone that gives these stories their incredible impact. Whether he's telling you about crippling a deer with his car, hooking his grandmother up with an old flame, or watching a childhood friend drown in a frozen lake, Andrew never wavers in his honesty or his humanity. He's like a reporter broadcasting form a war zone, but the casualties are his family and friends and not strangers in a foreign land…. Taylor's collections of stories will make you cringe, cry and when you really need it, laugh a little…The characters he's created are people we've all met, loved, lost and never forgot." — Windspeaker

"[Taylor] proves himself as fine a storyteller as playwright…they are chilling and dramatic but always underlined with humour, and the characters are so real you will swear you know them." — Coast Independent

About the Playwright:

Drew Hayden Taylor one of Canada's best known and most prolific Indigenous writers. An Ojibway born on Curve Lake First Nation near Peterborough, Ontario, he has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to being Artistic Director of Canada's premiere Aboriginal theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. He has been an award-winning playwright (with productions of his work in Canada, the US, and Europe), a journalist/columnist (appearing regularly in several Canadian newspapers and magazines), short-story writer, novelist, television scriptwriter, and documentary filmmaker.

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