Monday, December 22, 2014
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Joseph Boyden tells the story of the "Three Day Road"

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Joseph Boydon says he wanted to tell the stories about native soldiers who have served in the Canadian and U.S. forces over the past 100 years. (Photo Copyright Miriam Berkley, courtesy of Viking Press)

St. Paul, Minn. — In his new novel "Three Day Road," Canadian author Joseph Boyden tells the story of two Cree men, Xavier Bird and Elijah Whiskeyjack. The two men become snipers for a Canadian battalion in World War I France. Boyden says he wanted to write about native men, like his own father, who served with distinction.

Much of the story is told from the viewpoint of Xavier's aunt, Niska, as she takes the wounded Xavier back home. He's lost a leg and he's addicted to morphine. He's come home to die.

As they begin the trip home, the story of his time in the trenches unfolds. He and Elijah have become famous for their deadly shooting, which Elijah loves a little too much. But in his delirium Xavier wrestles with his conscience.

The novel has been praised by both Isabel Allende and Louise Erdrich.

Boyden told Minnesota Public Radio's Euan Kerr he wanted to write about men like his own father, who served with distinction.

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