Home Waltz

Home Waltz

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Finalist for 2021 Governor General Award for Fiction

Longlist 2021 First Nation Communities Read Award

In 1973, fifteen-year old Qʷóqʷésk̓iʔ, or “Squito” Bob, is a mixed-blood Nłeʔkepmx boy trying to find his place in a small, mostly Native town. His closest friends are three nłeʔkepmx boys and a white kid, an obnoxious runt who thinks himself superior to his friends. Accepted as neither Native nor white, Squito often feels like the stray dog of the group and envisions a short, disastrous life for himself. Home Waltz follows the boys over thirty-six hours on what should be one of the best weekends of their lives. With a senior girls volleyball tournament in town, Squito’s favourite band performing, and enough alcohol for ten people, the boys dream of girls, dancing, and possibly romance. A story of love, heartbreak, and tragedy, Home Waltz delves into suicide, alcohol abuse, body image, and systemic racism. A coming of age story like no other, Home Waltz speaks to one Indigenous teenager’s experience of growing up in a world that doesn’t want or trust him.

Praise for Home Waltz

In Squito Bob, Gordon Grisenthwaite has given us a latter-day Holden Caufield, fighting hormones, toxic friendships, and the general stupidity of others in the fleeting hope of his own brief shot at transcendence. Home Waltz is a tour de force, full of compassion and insight and humour and utterly unflinching in its look at the hard truths of life on the res.—Nino Ricci, author of Lives of the Saints, and Testament

Grisenthwaite weaves the classic coming-of-age tale into a story of deep grief and longing for place, the unfair treatment of First Nations people, but also the heart and kinship of First Nation’s communities—Crystal Mackenzie,  Freefall Magazine

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