Bestselling and beloved author of On A Cold Road, Dave Bidini uses his stint as guest columnist at the Yellowknifer newspaper to explore the "Gateway to the North," the meaning of community, and the issues facing residents and their daily lives.
As a journalist, author and founding member of the trail-blazing band Rheostatics, Dave Bidini has had the privilege to explore Canada's immense geography. Yet, in all his many travels, he'd never visited the Northwest Territories. After an all-too-brief visit to a literary festival in Yellowknife, Bidini was hooked on the place and its people. When he returned home, all he could do was think about going back to the North.
Facing a career crossroads and with memories of his recent visit to the Northwest Territories still fresh, Bidini, in a bold move, contacts the Yellowknifer, one of the last truly loval and independent newspapers, and signs on as a guest columnist for an unforgettable summer.
The Yellowknifer, like the city it serves, bucks all trends as a completely community-focused newspaper. Bidini's new position gives him access to a region that is on the one hand lost in time, and on the other faced with the stark realities of poverty, racism and addiction. Along the way, Midnight Light introduces readers to an extraordinary cast of Dene elders, entrepreneurs, artists, politicians and law enforcement officers as well as an assortment of complicated souls from the South who are looking for a chance to rebuild their lives and who face the same harsh economic realities as their new neighbours.
Woven throughout the narrative is the story of the irascible John McFadden, a veteran Toronto crime reporter who "escaped" to Yellowknife. McFadden is the key figure in the newspaper's ongoing fight with local authorities who do not take kindly to journalistic doggedness. During Bidini's tenure with the paper, McFadden makes headlines across the country when the RCMP charge him with obstruction while he is working on a story, culminating in a trial in which nothing less than journalistic freedom is at stake.
A fast-paced, funny and at times powerfully poignant chronicle of a city and its environs, and a reminder of the vital importance of a local and independent press, Midnight Light brings the Northwest Territories and its remarkable and proud people to vivid life.