Paying the Land

Metropolitan Books, 2020. $29.99, 272 pages. 

Artist and journalist Joe Sacco travels to the Northwest Territories and investigates a human conundrum in the Dene community: what are they willing to sacrifice to sustain them- selves? Fracking, forced separation of aboriginal children from their families, mining for diamonds and oil, alcohol, debt, and the freight of those wounds serve to cripple the landscape and the people who live on it. Deeply observed and masterfully drawn, Sacco (John McPhee–like, always in the background) brings light to dark corners of the world and to the human condition.

Kerri Arsenault is the Orion Book Reviews Editor