Joseph Graham

Posted by Rose Black on

Joseph Graham was born into a large family in Montreal and moved to the Laurentians as a child. After high school, he moved to France to continue his studies but didn’t complete a degree. At age 22, he returned to the Laurentians and spent three years as a recluse in a cabin he built in the woods, with no electricity or running water, working as a gardener in the summer and honing his writing skills in the winter. He then moved to the Eastern Townships to learn to farm and had his work published regularly in The Townships Sun. Three years later he returned to Ste. Lucie, wife and baby son in tow, to build the house he still lives in and where he operates an almost self-sufficient homestead.

During his career in recreational real estate sales, he continued to write about the history of the Laurentians, and founded two heritage-protection committees while working also to bridge the divides in the community. In 2005 he published his first book, Naming the Laurentians, which spent 12 weeks on the Montreal Gazette bestseller list and was subsequently published in French as Nommer les Laurentides

Insatiable Hunger (Published by Black Rose Books) is his second book. When asked about the purpose of his new book, Graham wrote:

The purpose of the book is to work towards understanding what Europeans and Indigenous people were like before and at first encounter... The encounter involved two equally modern people from two very different backgrounds. The juxtaposition of Settler-Indigenous stories through time invites the reader to see the contrast between societies based on market and gift economies. It covers the period from the early 1500s to the end of the War of 1812, how the societies were structured in Europe and northeastern America before and after contact and the changes wrought here by that contact. Readers will see what has been lost here and perhaps see a path forward to reconnecting with the values basic to Indigenous cultures.

Graham was inspired to write the book after receiving a note from a Weskarinis woman explaining that her people (an Indigenous tribe in what is now known as the Luarentians) had not been driven to extinction in the 1650s as he had written in his previous book, Naming the Laurentians. He came to realize that this mistake was derived from an incorrect, 'white' history. As a result of this realization, he set out on a quest to find the "hidden parts of our history."