Moccasin Square Gardens: Short Stories

Moccasin Square Gardens: Short Stories

by Richard Van Camp


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The characters of Moccasin Square Gardens inhabit Denendeh, the land of the people north of the sixtieth parallel. These stories are filled with in-laws, outlaws and common-laws. Get ready for illegal wrestling moves (“The Camel Clutch”), pinky promises, a doctored casino, extraterrestrials or “Sky People,” love, lust and prayers for peace.

While this is Van Camp’s most hilarious short story collection, it’s also haunted by the lurking presence of the Wheetago, human-devouring monsters of legend that have returned due to global warming and the greed of humanity. The stories in Moccasin Square Gardens show that medicine power always comes with a price.

To counteract this darkness, Van Camp weaves a funny and loving portrayal of the Tłı̨chǫ Dene and other communities of the North, drawing from oral history techniques to perfectly capture the character and texture of everyday small-town life. “Moccasin Square Gardens” is the nickname of a dance hall in the town of Fort Smith that serves as a meeting place for a small but diverse community. In the same way, the collection functions as a meeting place for an assortment of characters, from shamans and time-travelling goddess warriors to pop-culture-obsessed pencil pushers, to con artists, archivists and men who just need to grow up, all seeking some form of connection.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771622165
Publisher: Douglas and McIntyre (2013) Ltd.
Publication date: 09/28/2019
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 843,655
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Richard Van Camp is an internationally renowned storyteller and bestselling author. He was born in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, and is a proud member of the Dogrib (Tłı̨chǫ) Dene Nation. He is the author of The Lesser Blessed (Douglas & McIntyre, 1996), a Canadian classic that has been adapted into a feature film with First Generation Films. He lives in Edmonton, AB, with his family.

Table of Contents

Aliens 11

Super Indians 25

Wheetago War I: Lying in Bed Together 41

Wheetago War II: Summoners 55

The Promise 69

Man Babies 85

I Am Filled with a Trembling Light 107

Ehtsèe/Grandpa 129

Knock Knock 151

I Have to Trust 155

After Words 157

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