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“Duncan McCue is one of the most profound and sensitive writers I've had the pleasure of reading. And The Shoe Boy is that rare little gem of a book. It's indelible.”
— Joseph Boyden, Giller Prize-winning author of The Orenda
Duncan McCue's memoir of a season spent hunting on a Northern Quebec trapline as a teenager is frank, funny and evocative. It’s also a beautiful rendering of a landscape and culture few people know. A reporter for CBC’s The National, McCue is
Anishinaabe—a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation in southern Ontario—and currently lives in Vancouver. This is his first book.
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"The Beaver circles a small lake and begins its descent. I can see the cabin where we will live. Robbie and his sons built it from two-by-fours and plywood earlier in the summer. It has a shingle roof. There’s an outhouse beside the cabin. In front, a group of wooden poles stand in a pyramid, the skeleton of a miichiwaahp. A large green freighter canoe lays overturned on shore.
The pontoons of the Beaver skip across the lake, and we come to a floating rest. The pilot shuts down the prop, and paddles to shore. We unload boxes of canned milk, flour, eggs, toilet paper, gasoline. We carry the food up the small hill to a white canvas maahkii, which sits next to the cabin, on top of a plywood platform to keep mice out. Though the air is cold, I’m sweating as I march up and down the hill with boxes and packs. The plane will return with supplies periodically, but we won’t return to Chisasibi until Christmas. We’re here for almost five months."