One Book, One Community


Our Region Reads!

One Book One Community


Now in its twelfth year, the One Book, One Community of Waterloo Region has announced its 2013 reading selection. All of Waterloo Region will be on the same page reading ...



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Ragged Company, by Richard Wagamese

Ragged Company

by Richard Wagamese








About The Book



Book Jacket for Bury Your Dead

Four chronically homeless people – Amelia One Sky, Timber, Double Dick and Digger – seek refuge in a warm movie theatre when a severe Arctic Front descends on the city. During what is supposed to be a one-time event, this temporary refuge transfixes them. They fall in love with this new world, and once the weather clears, continue their trips to the cinema. On one of these outings they meet Granite, a jaded and lonely journalist who has turned his back on writing “the same story over and over again” in favour of the escapist qualities of film, and an unlikely friendship is struck.


A found cigarette package (contents: some unsmoked cigarettes, three $20 bills, and a lottery ticket) changes the fortune of this struggling set. The ragged company discovers they have won $13.5 million, but none of them can claim the money for lack of proper identification. Enlisting the help of Granite, their lives, and fortunes, become forever changed.


Ragged Company is a journey into both the future and the past. Richard Wagamese deftly explores the nature of the comforts these friends find in their ideas of “home,” as he reconnects them to their histories.


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About the Author


Richard WagameseRichard Wagamese is one of Canada’s foremost Native authors and storytellers. Working as a professional writer since 1979, he’s been a newspaper columnist /reporter, radio/ television broadcaster and producer, documentary producer and the author of eleven titles from major Canadian publishers, with a new novel, Indian Horse, published in early 2012.


Wagamese has twice won the Native American Press Association Award and the National Aboriginal Communications Society Award for his newspaper columns. He was also the first Native Canadian to win the National Newspaper Award for Column Writing in 1991. Currently, his series One Native Life runs as a radio commentary and newspaper column in both Canada and the U.S., and was a weekly television commentary on CFJC-TV 7 in Kamloops, BC from 2007 to 2010.


Richard continues to lead writing and storytelling workshops in communities across the country. In June 2010, He was honored with an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops in recognition of his lifetime achievement in writing and publishing. Then in 2011, Wagamese was the Harvey Stevenson Southam Guest Lecturer in Professional Writing at the University of Victoria.


An esteemed public speaker and storyteller, he lives in the mountains outside of Kamloops BC with his wife, Debra Powell, and Molly the Story Dog.


To learn more, visit Richard Wagamese's website.


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Selected Awards / Accolades


1991:  National Newspaper Award for Column Writing

(Wagamese was the first Native Canadian to win the award)


1994:  Albert Writers Guild Best Novel Award for Keeper’n Me (debut novel)


2007:  Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction Dream Wheels (third novel)


2008:  One of The Globe and Mail’s 100 Best Books of 2008 for One Native Life (memoir)


2010:  Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops


2011:  George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature for One Story, One Song (memoir)


2011:  Harvey Stevenson Southam Guest Lecturer in Professional Writing at the University of Victoria


2012:  National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media & Communications.


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Author Interview


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Readers have a choice when it comes to accessing this title. Ragged Company is available in a variety of formats, including:


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Author Visits and Related Programs


All One Book, One Community programs and events have concluded.


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About the One Book One Community Program


One Book, One Community was created to promote reading by adults, and to build new connections in the community through the shared experience of reading.


In 2002, when One Book, One Community was launched, organizers expected that 1% of the Region’s population would read Alistair McLeod’s “No Great Mischief." Instead of the expected 4000 readers, more than 6800 readers were counted and an additional 3000 people attended author events.


By tracking sales, library circulations, web hits and event attendance, the committee has recorded that more than 100,000 people in Waterloo Region have participated in the program. Interest in the reading program has continued over the previous nine years with selections continuing to generate interest in libraries, bookstores, workplaces and book club gatherings.


Organized by library staff, booksellers, city staff and volunteers, the program requires a year round commitment. After the book title is announced, individuals, book clubs, organizations, employers – everyone – is invited to take up the challenge of the One Book, One Community initiative and organize their own way of “getting on the same page.”


Author events will take place around the region, with the author visiting KPL at a date to be announced shortly. Watch the KPL website or The Record for author event dates and notices of community events as they develop, or check out the One Book, One Community website at


Again this year, get all the latest news,information and developments by following @oboc_kw on Twitter.


Readers and event participants will be counted again this year, so be sure to participate, and let the community know how you got involved.



Previous Reading Selections


2012 – Allan Casey, Lakeland: Ballad of a Freshwater Country


2011 – Louise Penny, Bury Your Dead


2010 – Terry Fallis, The Best Laid Plans


2009 – Lawrence Hill, The Book of Negroes


2008 – Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, The 100-Mile Diet


2007 – Elizabeth Ruth, Smoke


2006 – Joseph Boyden, Three Day Road


2005 – Robert J. Sawyer, Hominids


2004 – Nino Ricci, Lives of the Saints

2003 – Jane Urquhart, The Stone Carvers


2002 – Alistair Macleod, No Great Mischief


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