Harold Johnson
   
 

Born and raised in northern Saskatchewan, Harold Johnson has a Master of Law degree from Harvard University and most recently worked as a Crown Prosecutor. He has served in the Canadian Navy, and worked in mining and logging. Johnson is the author of five works of fiction, several of which are set in northern Saskatchewan against a background of traditional Cree mythology. He is also the author of two non-fiction titles. His most recent novel, Corvus, was shortlisted for the 2016 Saskatchewan Book Award for Aboriginal Peoples' Writing, and The Cast Stone won the 2011 Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction. 

Johnson lives "off the grid" in La Ronge, Saskatchewan, with his wife, where he operates his family's traditional trap line.

 


Books

 


 

NOVEL

248 pages / paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available


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reviews

 

ISBN: 978-1-77187-051-1
List Price: $19.95

Harold Johnson

Eighty years have passed since flash floods, droughts, and tornadoes have ravaged the North American landscape and mass migrations to the north have led to decade-long wars. In the thriving city of La Ronge, George Taylor and Lenore Hanson are lawyers who rarely interact with members of the lower classes from the impoverished suburb of Regis and the independently thriving Ashram outside the city. They live in a world of personalized Platforms, self-driving cars, and cutting edge Organic Recreational Vehicles (ORVs), where gamers need never leave their virtual realities.

Lenore befriends political dissenter and fellow war veteran Richard Warner, and George accidentally crash-lands his ORV near the mountain-sheltered haven of a First Nations community, they become exposed to new ways of thinking. As the lives of these near-strangers become intertwined, each is forced to confront the past before their relationships and lives unravel.

Taking its title from the Latin name for the Trickster bird of First Nations, Norse, and Christian mythologies, Corvus examines the illusions of security we build through technology and presents a scathing satire of a world caught up in climate change denial and the glorification of war.

"Corvus is an impassioned, formally innovative twist on the dystopian genre." — Jade Colbert, The Globe & Mail

  • Shortlisted for the 2016 Saskatchewan Book Award for Aboriginal Peoples' Writing

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 NOVEL

208 pages / paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available


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REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-897235-89-8
List Price: $19.95

Harold Johnson

Ben Robe is a retired political science professor who has returned to his reserve at Moccasin Lake to live out his life in relative peace and solitude. But the complications of a sudden and intense US annexation of Canada change his plans. Cued into a Canadian resistance movement by his former student and lover, Monica, Ben soon learns that the layers of political and military activity go far beyond his careful social conscience in this dystopian world.

Radical young women like Monica, Betsy Chance, and Joan Lightning post one face of the resistance, while farmers like Abe Friesen, and Mennonite Mary Wiens post another. Paralleled with characters like these are the reserve’s citizens who remain sheltered from the immediate troubles down south, but must accept that they cannot remain passive forever.

The Cast Stone’s themes are not emphatic; rather they emerge slowly from within the narratives as Ben encounters the players in the Canadian resistance and must balance his call to civil action with the call to defend Canada amid the discovery of a son he never knew he had, his friendship with his neighbours, and the community elders with their long-standing knowledge of Treaties, history, and racial oppression conflict. The novel accents Ben’s struggles with his own desire for independence, love, and forgiveness, but at its core it remains a telling and passionate portrait of First Nations community life, the value and safety of family, and the need for friendship. It achieves an understanding of what an individual’s responsibilities are when civil liberty, order and stability are jeopardized by an occupying power, but shows that solitary acts of defiance that champion family trust and the individual’s capacity to love are their own agents of resistance.

  • Winner of the 2011 Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction

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NOVEL

208 pages/trade paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available

REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-897235-44-7
List Price: $18.95

Harold Johnson

 

Charlie Muskrat, out of moose meat for the winter and committed to getting some, finds himself in Prince Albert with a 30/30 Winchester under the seat of his truck, Thunder, half a tank of gas, half a thermos of coffee, lots of Cheezies and a desire to drive south. Accompanied during the trip by phantom hitchhikers from history and myth — the Trickster, Wesakicak, Greek gods, writers, philosophers and politicians — Charlie motors along to the backdrop of Johnny Cash gospel songs and his own foggy memories of his purpose. Through Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Trenton, Sudbury, Ottawa and Toronto and all along the way are those moments of laughter that Johnson does so well — the US border guards who turn Charlie away on gun issues, the Indian Affairs people with their bags of money, the bar conversations on literature in Toronto.
Charlie Muskrat is socially insightful, politically incorrect, funny, and dangerous in his own naivety, and his road trip unfolds as an unforgettable journey in Canadian culture.

  • Shortlisted for the 2009 ReLit Award for Fiction
  • Shortlisted for the 2008 Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction and Best Book

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NOVEL

174 pages/trade paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available

REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-894345-85-9
List Price: $16.95

Harold Johnson

 

Against a backdrop of traditional Cree mythology, Johnson's novel creates a tangled murder chronicle and harrowing tale of four Cree brothers, bound to each other through family and tradition, separated from each other by their chosen life paths. As one brother kills, another reinforces the principle of a circle of life, as one capitulates to weakness, another conquers his demons. Driving the action is a manhunt for the killer of conservation officers; but at the heart of the story there is reparation through cultural wisdom and the restoration of traditional beliefs.

Authentic and well-paced, Back Track crosscuts through the cultural ruts, economic conventions, and stereotypes of Cree families living in northern Saskatchewan.

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NOVElla

64 pages/trade paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available

ISBN: 978-1-894345-33-0
List Price: $9.95

Harold Johnson


This is a gritty tale detailing the hardships faced by labourers (once known as “packsack miners”) in Northern Saskatchewan mining camps.

Billy Tinker offers a rare combination of realism and magic that draws out many of the contradictions and tests faced by Native Canadians and the working class. Billy’s anger and the loneliness of his itinerant lifestyle are transformed by a sweat lodge ceremony, and the “little people” through whom he renews his connections to the land and his culture.

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