Grey Owl: The Mystery of Archie Belaney, A New Edition
Armand Garnet Ruffo
September 7, 2021
248 pages | 978-1-989496-34-3
**Finalist for the Saskatchewan Book Awards**
Award-winning author Armand Garnet Ruffo's compelling collection is being re-released with a new introduction by the author, which delves into his family's personal connection with Archie Belaney and into the questions of voice and appropriation that swirl around Grey Owl at a time when these discussions have never been more important. In a fascinating mixture of poetry, fiction, letter and news report Ruffo recreates the life of a man who recreated himself entirely and sold that story to the world.
In the original back cover copy author Tomson Highway stated that "Armand Ruffo is definitely a writer with a future, a writer to be watched." Highway's observation has been borne out and now, twenty-five years after this collection was first released, a revised edition will return to bookstores.
Prairie Fire Review (Sue Sorensen, Prairie Fire Review)
"In a series of poems the contradictory elements of Grey Owl's personality can be related with a deftness and lightness which prose might not have been able to capture. And Grey Owl himself was so mysterious that a non-fiction history in a journalistic or academic style would run the certain danger of misrepresenting the man.... his readability is fitting and has much to recommend it. The photographs throughout are a welcome addition, and one emerges from the book with a real sense of the many-sided nature of Grey Owl."
Review (Maureen McNamee, FFWD)
"Armand Garnett Ruffo's new book is a mystery that the author never attempts to solve. But, some mysteries aren't meant to be solved and, although it is irresistible, perhaps this is one of them."
Review (Fraser Sutherland, Globe and Mail)
"Ruffo narrates the Grey Owl story simply, cleanly, and smoothly.... The poet is at his best when he condenses complex personal history into his own deeply considered meditations or dramatic summaries."
Review (Bill Waiser, CBRA)
"The result is an absorbing portrait of a complicated figure whose determination to spread the message of conservation became the one constant in his life. Despite a number of personal difficulties, including bouts of anxiety, self-doubt, and a weakness for drink, Grey Owl won over audiences on both sides of the Atlantic during two speaking tours in the mid-1930s."
Review (Verne Clemence, Western People)
"Ruffo leaves it to history to judge Grey Owl's moral standards, but he admires the man's message. Grey Owl is an intriguing new examination of a much-examined life, well worth the evening or two required to savor a smooth writing style and an obvious love of language."
About the Author
Armand Garnet Ruffo's Ojibwe relations were signatories to the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850. His great-great-grandfather lobbied for inclusion of those left out of treaty in 1905 when the Government of Canada’s economic policies were causing starvation amongst his people. Ruffo’s publications include Introduction to Indigenous Literary Criticism in Canada (Broadview, 2015), The Thunderbird Poems (Harbour, 2015) and Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing Into Thunderbird (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014), a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction. He is currently the Queen’s National Scholar in Indigenous Literature at Queen’s University in Kingston.
Other Titles by This Author
TREATY # (2019)
At Geronimo's Grave (2021)