Motorcycles & Sweetgrass

Ebook $14.99

Knopf Canada | Mar 09, 2010 | ISBN 9780307373991

  • Paperback$19.50

    Vintage Canada | Dec 07, 2010 | 368 Pages | 5-5/16 x 8 | ISBN 9780307398062

  • Ebook$14.99

    Knopf Canada | Mar 09, 2010 | ISBN 9780307373991

Awards

Governor General’s Literary Awards – Fiction FINALIST 2010

Praise

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
FINALIST 2013–2014 – First Nations Communities Read

 
“A near-perfect debut, a masterful mythic-comedy balancing contemporary issues and realities with magic and history. . . . Motorcycles & Sweetgrass is a trickster story, but it’s also a fundamentally human account of individuals and of a people struggling to find a place for themselves in the world. . . . A broad, bawdy, raucous, deeply felt and utterly involving narrative, a genuine pleasure to read. . . . Motorcycles & Sweetgrass positively crackles with life, love and magic. What more can you ask of a book?”
— Robert J. Wiersema, Edmonton Journal
 
“A winning comedy.”
— The Globe and Mail
 
Motorcycles & Sweetgrass may be concerned with aboriginal community politics, identity, mythology and intergenerational legacies, but it reads like a romp. . . . Yet the book’s real strength is its underlying account of a community struggling to weave an increasingly abstract traditional past with some kind of meaningful future.”
— Toronto Star
 
“Drew Hayden Taylor’s got no qualms about poking fun at his Native roots, and that’s what makes Motorcycles & Sweetgrass such a pleasure. It’s playful yet soulful, with a narrative that keeps those pages turning. . . . A fun, rollicking book, and Taylor’s voice is fresh and unique.”
— NOW (Toronto)
 
“Taylor brings a modern twist to ancient native folklore. Motorcycles & Sweetgrass is a charming story about the importance of balance and belief—and a little bit of magic—in everyone’s life.”
— Quill & Quire

“If the great Ojibway trickster Nanabush wrote fiction, I imagine he’d write just like Drew Hayden Taylor. You will find much sadness just below the laughs, and sly humour masked by sorrow. A wisdom exists in these pages that only comes from someone who writes from his heart.”
Joseph Boyden
 
“Fast-paced, uproariously funny and genuinely thrilling. Drew Hayden Taylor is one of Canada’s finest and funniest writers.”
— Ian Ferguson, author of Village of the Small Houses
 
“Funny, heartfelt, hopeful and illuminating. Motorcycles & Sweetgrass made me laugh and made me think, sometimes in the same sentence. Drew Hayden Taylor is a master storyteller.”
— Terry Fallis, author of The Best Laid Plans
 
“Drew Hayden Taylor has woven an epic tale of magic, mystery and charm for the world to discover in Motorcycles & Sweetgrass. This is a novel to savor. A complete delight!”
— Richard Van Camp, author of The Moon of Letting Go and The Lesser Blessed

Author Q&A

20 Writerly Questions for Drew Hayden Taylor
 

1. How would you summarize your book in one sentence?
It’s a contemporary trickster tale, involving sex, mischief, motorcycles and raccoons.
 
2. How long did it take you to write this book?
The first draft, about eight weeks. And aboutt twelve years to develop the idea.
 
3. Where is your favorite place to write?
The Banff Centre is a fabulous place, almost as great as my little office on the Reserve were I look out at the trees, deer, bears and snowdifts.
 
4. How do you choose your characters’ names?
Through a secret aboriginal prcoess unknown and forbidden to non-aboriginals.
 
5. How many drafts do you go through?
Three if I can. Four if I can’t.
 
6. If there was one book you wish you had written what would it be?
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton 

7. If your book were to become a movie, who would you like to see star in it?
Interesting question. A young Brad Pitt would be perfect.
 
8. What’s your favourite city in the world?
Venice is lovely. So is Vancouver. Brisbane is very cool. I know that’s three but what the hell.
 
9. If you could talk to any writer living or dead who would it be, and what would you ask?
The Bible and my question would be “is this an instruction manual” or is this primarly a metaphor?
 
10. When do you write best, morning or night?
Usually morning. Then the afternoon.
 
11. Who is the first person who gets to read your manuscript?
Sometimes my girlfriend, or my agent.
 
12. Do you have a guilty pleasure read?
Yes I do, trashy sci-fi novels. Also, Tarzan and Conan novels.
 
13. What’s on your nightstand right now?
Two books.  The complete D.C. Comic Book universe, and The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi.
 
14. What is the first book you remember reading?
You know, I can’t remember. How odd?
 
15. Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes I have. I liked creating people, places, universes, problems and solutions. It’s l ike playing God without being sacreligious.
 
16. What do you drink or eat while you write?
Maybe coffee, tea, soda water.  An apple or something light.
 
17. Typewriter, laptop, or pen & paper?
Laptop.
 
18. What do you wear when you write?
That’s an awfully personal question, but anything from shorts to trackpant to jeans, and usually a t-shirt.
 
19. How do you decide which narrative point of view to write from?
I don’t. The story always decides that.
 
20. What is the best gift someone could give a writer?
An idea or an audience.


From the Hardcover edition.

 

20 Writerly Questions for Drew Hayden Taylor
 

1. How would you summarize your book in one sentence?
It’s a contemporary trickster tale, involving sex, mischief, motorcycles and raccoons.
 
2. How long did it take you to write this book?
The first draft, about eight weeks. And aboutt twelve years to develop the idea.
 
3. Where is your favorite place to write?
The Banff Centre is a fabulous place, almost as great as my little office on the Reserve were I look out at the trees, deer, bears and snowdifts.
 
4. How do you choose your characters’ names?
Through a secret aboriginal prcoess unknown and forbidden to non-aboriginals.
 
5. How many drafts do you go through?
Three if I can. Four if I can’t.
 
6. If there was one book you wish you had written what would it be?
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton 

7. If your book were to become a movie, who would you like to see star in it?
Interesting question. A young Brad Pitt would be perfect.
 
8. What’s your favourite city in the world?
Venice is lovely. So is Vancouver. Brisbane is very cool. I know that’s three but what the hell.
 
9. If you could talk to any writer living or dead who would it be, and what would you ask?
The Bible and my question would be “is this an instruction manual” or is this primarly a metaphor?
 
10. When do you write best, morning or night?
Usually morning. Then the afternoon.
 
11. Who is the first person who gets to read your manuscript?
Sometimes my girlfriend, or my agent.
 
12. Do you have a guilty pleasure read?
Yes I do, trashy sci-fi novels. Also, Tarzan and Conan novels.
 
13. What’s on your nightstand right now?
Two books.  The complete D.C. Comic Book universe, and The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi.
 
14. What is the first book you remember reading?
You know, I can’t remember. How odd?
 
15. Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes I have. I liked creating people, places, universes, problems and solutions. It’s l ike playing God without being sacreligious.
 
16. What do you drink or eat while you write?
Maybe coffee, tea, soda water.  An apple or something light.
 
17. Typewriter, laptop, or pen & paper?
Laptop.
 
18. What do you wear when you write?
That’s an awfully personal question, but anything from shorts to trackpant to jeans, and usually a t-shirt.
 
19. How do you decide which narrative point of view to write from?
I don’t. The story always decides that.
 
20. What is the best gift someone could give a writer?
An idea or an audience.


From the Hardcover edition.

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