464 pages, 7.97 × 5.14 × 0.94 in
March 31, 1999
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0676971962
ISBN - 13: 9780676971965
Read from the Book
Prefatory NoteThis book is based on what Yvonne Johnson holds to be her own truths about the life she has lived. However, since there is never only one way to tell a story, other persons involved in this one may well have experienced and remember differently the events and actions here portrayed. The book is also based on my research into the circumstances of Yvonne’s life. Besides over five years of dialogue with her, this research involved travel to various places crucial to the story; interviews wherever possible; attendance at trials; and the gathering of data from court, police, government, school, and newspaper records in both Canada and the United States.I have gathered together Yvonne’s words, as given in the present text, as she and I agreed, from various sources: largely her seventeen black prison notebooks, her letters to me, her comments on official records and documents, her statements to police, my notes of our conversations in person or on the telephone, numerous audiotapes. She has a natural gift of language, which at any moment will follow a detail and widen into incident, story, often humour. This was at first sometimes confusing, even disorienting, until I recognized that her thinking was often circular, revolving around a given subject, and her writing almost oral in the sense that I had to catch the tone of her inflection to understand exactly how the incidents she was remembering connected; where the expanding images or even parables with which she tried
From the Publisher
The powerful, major book, acclaimed across Canada, from the great-great-granddaughter of Chief Big Bear and Rudy Wiebe, twice winner of the Governor General's Award for Fiction. A story of justice and social injustices, of murder and morality, and of finding spiritual strength in events that might break us, told with redeeming compassion and poetic eloquence. Stolen Life is a raw, honest, and beautifully written account of the troubled society we live in, and a deeply moving affirmation of spiritual healing.
About the Author
Yvonne Johnson a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, was imprisoned for first-degree murder in 1991 in the Kingston Federal Prison for Women. Married with three children, she is now at the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge for Native Women in Saskatchewan.
Rudy Wiebe is the author of three short-story collections, eight novels and a book of essays. There was a television adaptation of his acclaimed novel The Temptations of Big Bear in 1999.
From Our Editors
Written with the help of award winning author Rudy Wiebe, this acclaimed novel tells of Yvonne Johnson's experience while imprisoned for first-degree murder in 1991, and the spiritual strength she eventually found. A compelling story of murder, morality, justice and injustice, Stolen Life: The Journey of A Cree Woman is Johnson's account of the troubled society we live in. Powerful and eloquent, this is a book about Indian life, of stolen land and stolen lives.
"Stolen Life is 'a gift of understanding' — A compelling story infused with hope and spirituality —." —The Financial Post
"Stolen Life is] the rarest of treasures— an unexpected joy — Here are two friends who prove to one another that individuals can reach across a nation's mistakes, and offer forgiveness — an amazing collaboration. [A] triumph — Yvonne Johnson and Rudy Wiebe have written the book that will shatter the silence, revealing secrets about stolen land and stolen lives, if only we are brave enough to confront their meaning." —The Edmonton Journal
"Brilliant— Rudy Wiebe works here like a great jazz guitarist ... with consummate skill. An essential [book] for anyone who believes [in] establishing justice." —The Toronto Star
“The story [is] told as poignantly as Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, and every bit as heartbreaking as Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Fall on Your Knees. Stolen Life [demonstrates] the humbling and unyielding power of forgiveness, a power that lives on, in spite of everything, in nameless but heroic people like Yvonne Johnson.” – The Georgia Straight