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‘I went right to my own mythology’: U of T alumna Karen McBride explores Indigenous legend and myth in debut novel – U of T news
For Karen McBride, Crow Winter was a story that needed to be told.
“It all started as this idea of getting my own grief down on the page,” she says.
Crow Winter follows Hazel Ellis as she returns home to Spirit Bear Point First Nation and begins dreaming about Nanabush, an Algonquin demigod. His sudden appearance prompts Hazel to confront her grief and the aftermath of her father’s death.
McBride, an Algonquin Anishnaabe writer from the Timiskaming First Nation, turned to the stories she’d been hearing since childhood to help process the loss of her father in 2013. “It was a story that I knew I needed to get out to help myself, but also to play with Indigenous legends and myths,” says McBride. “I wanted magic realism in there somehow, so I went right to my own mythology.”
Though it stems from McBride’s experience with loss, the author maintains that the novel is not an autobiography. Crow Winter is a work of fiction and mythmaking.
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