This is a series where Indigenous writers and readers alike write reviews for some of their favourite pieces of writing and post them on Amazon, Goodreads, and the CiTR blog! Enjoy what they have to say about these texts.
This Accident of Being Lost by Leanne Simpson
Review by Jessica Johns
This book was a game changer for me. It carefully blended humour, theory, love, wit, and profound thought all while deftly oscillating between poetry and prose. For example, in the chapter “A Few Good Reasons to Wear a Long Skirt,” one of the hilarious points is “if you are ice fishing and someone falls in a hole, you could use your skirt as a rescue rope to rescue them,” which is shortly followed by more politically charged points which hint at systems of colonization and resistance.
Simpson gets to the heart of human connection and interaction and lays it bare. In the chapter “22.5 Minutes,” the narrator sets a timer for 45 minutes in order to try and not think about their new romance. It’s a hilarious look at obsession, at love and the different forms it can take, of human beings’ capacity for boundaries. It felt like I was looking right into a mirror, looking at truths that are both uncomfortable and relieving in that they are more universal than I think.
I have read and re-read this book. Every time I pick it up I find something new to love, I find another part of it that seems to have opened up in the short time I’ve left it. Leanne Simpson has given the world a gift in this collection, and it is one I will continue to turn to it for the rest of my life.
Bad Endings by Carleigh Baker
Review by Jasmine Sealy
This is a hilarious, poignant highly original collection of short stories. In these stories: a young woman is distracted from her beekeeping job by the arrival of a hunky distraction, a couple goes on a trip of a lifetime only to grow bored with the Northern Lights, and an addict bonds with a prisoner while bludgeoning salmon. These stories are unlike anything I’ve read and stuck with me for ages after I finished the collection. LOVE THIS BOOK!
The Break by Katherena Vermette
Review by Molly Cross-Blanchard
Once I picked up this book, I could not put it down. The Break tells the story of a traumatic event seen through the eyes of several people in the infamous North End of Winnipeg, mostly women, and how they deal with the ever-present violence. The weaving of these narratives never becomes confusing; it’s just so rich, and so honest.
Molly Cross-Blanchard: Molly Cross-Blanchard is a Metis writer from the prairies. Her first poetry chapbook is forthcoming this Spring with Rahila’s Ghost Press, and she is currently training to be Circulation Editor at PRISM international.
Jasmine Sealy: is a Barbadian-Canadian writer. She has been published in anthologies by Véhicule Press and Caitlin Press and her work has also appeared in The New Quarterly, Adda Stories, and Geist Magazine.
Jessica Johns: is a writer of Cree ancestry and a member of Sucker Creek First Nation. She was the winner of Saltern’s 2017 Short Forms contest, The Rusty Toque’s 2017 Flash Fiction contest, and was first runner-up for the 2017 Glass Buffalo poetry contest. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in SAD Mag, Bad Nudes, and Cosmonauts.