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Hunter with Harpoon

Hunter with Harpoon

by Markoosie Patsauq

A new English translation of an acclaimed 1970 novel reveals a stark, powerful story, an Inuit worldview, and the unique voice of Markoosie Patsauq.

Published fifty years ago under the title Harpoon of the Hunter (and translated into Danish, French, German, and Japanese), Markoosie Patsauq's novel helped establish the genre of Indigenous fiction in Canada. This new English translation unfolds the story of Kamik, a young hero who comes to manhood while on a perilous hunt for a wounded polar bear.

In this astonishing tale of a people struggling for survival in a brutal environment, Patsauq describes life in the Canadian Arctic as one that is reliant on cooperation and vigilance. In collaboration with the author, the translators return to the original Inuktitut to provide English readers with a more accurate translation.

With a preface by Patsauq and an afterword from the translators, this edition offers a fresh and contextualized interpretation of a cultural milestone. Whether revisiting this classic or discovering it for the first time, readers will find in Hunter with Harpoon a sophisticated coming-of-age tale illustrating a way of life not as it appeared to southerners, but as it has survived in the memory of the Inuit themselves.


Markoosie Patsauq, author

Markoosie Patsauq (1941-2020) was a writer, retired pilot, and community leader. He lived in Inukjuak, Nunavik.

Marc-Antoine Mahieu, translator

Marc-Antoine Mahieu is professor of Inuktitut at the Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales, Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, and consultant for the Kativik school board in Nunavik.

Valerie Henitiuk, translator

Valerie Henitiuk, translation studies specialist, is provost at Concordia University of Edmonton.

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: McGill-Queen's University Press



rights available: World, excl. French

Additional Information

publication date: 11/18/2020

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book