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Solitary Raven: The Essential Writings of Bill Reid Books

Solitary Raven: The Essential Writings of Bill Reid

By University of Toronto Pres

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A seminal collection of writing from one of Canada's most revered artists, spanning forty years of his life.

When Haida sculptor and Canadian icon Bill Reid died, in the spring of 1998, he was more widely and more fervently admired than any other Native artist in North America. Although Reid attained his greatest fame in the visual arts, words were his first professional medium. Until he received his first large carving commission, in 1958, he made his living as a radio announcer and script writer. This work earned him the Haida name Kihlguulins, the "One with the Beautiful Voice." In his later years, Parkinson's disease curtailed his public speaking, but it did not prevent him writing. His oratorical and literary gifts are rightly part of the Reid legend. Recordings of his voice can still be played in a number of major museums around the world.

Despite his gift for words, much of what he wrote was published only in newspapers, magazines and exhibition catalogues. Some was made public in audio form but never printed, and some has languished in manuscript for years. This book collects, for the first time, the most important of these widely scattered writings: seminal statements on the art on the Northwest Coast, the role of the Native artist in a multicultural world, and the quintessential role of the environment to the survival of human culture.

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