Indian Horse might not have won the annual book debate Canada Reads, but the novel has become a bestseller for author Richard Wagamese.
The book about the legacy of residential schools is ranked seventh on the Globe and Mail’s weekly list of Canadian fiction. Wagamese told The Daily News his agent informed him of the good news Friday afternoon.
Wagamese has authored 13 books during his 19 years as a writer. Indian Horse is his first bestseller.
“It’s really gratifying,” he said Saturday. “I think it’s a testament to every writer out there who has been working and working and working and wondering if anything like this will ever happen.”
He never writes intending to craft a bestseller. His only desire is to serve the story he wants to tell, he said.
“To have it happen all of a sudden is really wonderful,” said Wagamese.
The book is also No. 1 in paperback fiction and No. 1 in Canadian fiction on the Canadian Booksellers Association website, he said. All the positive attention bodes well for his next novel, Medicine Walk, which will be released next year.
Indian Horse was eliminated partway through the 2013 edition of Canada Reads. It represented the B.C. and Yukon region in the contest and was championed by Olympic wrestler Carol Huynh.
February by Lisa Moore won the literary contest.