The Halfway Man

halfway man cover imageHalfway Man

by Wayland Drew
General Fiction
Oberon Press
Paperback - 219 pages
$19.95

“My name is Travis Niskigwan.  I belong in the North – on the shore of Lake Superior and in the shield beyond.  I belong where the lakes are still the eyes of the earth, and where the shadows of invisible beings move on the snow in the moonlight.  I belong where there are spirits still.”  Two recent books – The Long Shining Waters by Danielle Sosin and Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye (both recent featured selections in these notes) – set Lake Superior at the heart of the story.  We asked an erudite friend recently what other books (there seemed so few!) had a similar Lake Superior core.  He suggested Halfway Man by Wayland Drew.  Bingo!  What a great book!  The narrator is a college-educated Ojibwe, Travis Nikigwun, who has returned to his bush village to live and work seasonal jobs.  The land on which the village – Neyashing – is situated falls into the hands of developers who plan an upscale resort community.  The People will have to leave their ancestral home.  Travis undertakes an elegant strategy which turns the tide.  The parallel love story with his college sweetheart, Jenny - a radical eco-activist – provides an important counterpoint to the central story line.