Totem Poles and Railroads 2017 FNCR succinctly defines the 500-year-old relationship between Indigenous nations and the corporation of Canada. In this, her fifth poetry collection, Janet Rogers expands on that definition with a playful, culturally powerful and, at times, experimental voice. She pays honour to her poetic characters - real and imagined, historical and present day - from Sacajawea to Nina Simone.
A Gentle Habit: a book of short stories by Metis author Cherie Dimaline includes six moving short stories. Inspiration for the collection comes from American poet Charles Bukowski who wrote “In between the punctuating agonies, life is such a gentle habit.” Following this theme of extraordinary ordinariness, A Gentle Habit is a collection of six new short stories focusing on the addictions of a diverse group of characters attempting normalcy in an unnatural world.
In her second collection of poetry, Passage, Gwen Benaway examines what it means to experience violence and speaks to the burden of survival. Traveling to Northern Ontario and across the Great Lakes, Passage is a poetic voyage through divorce, family violence, legacy of colonization, and the affirmation of a new sexuality and gender. Previously published as a man, Passage is the poet’s first collection written as a transwoman. Striking and raw in sparse lines, the collection showcases a vital Two Spirited identity that transects borders of race, gender, and experience.
Just Pretending is Bird-Wilson’s first short story collection, though she has previously published a book of nonfiction. This Métis author works for he Gabriel Dumont Institute in Saskatoon. In this short story collection the question of identity appears in all the 22 stories. Additional themes include belonging/not belonging, Aboriginal adoption, loss and abandonment, regret and insecurity. A deadbeat dad tries to reconnect with his daughter after 22 years away. A selfish poet has been scarred by an upbringing that leaves him emotionally distant from his children and spouse.
Corvus is an adult novel by Saskatchewan writer Harold Johnson. Corvus is on the First Nation Communities Read longlist for 2017. Eighty years have passed since flash floods, droughts, and tornadoes have ravaged the North American landscape and mass migrations to the north have led to decade-long wars. In the thriving city of La Ronge, George Taylor and Lenore Hanson are lawyers who rarely interact with members of the lower classes from the impoverished suburb of Regis and the independently thriving Ashram outside the city.
Size of a Fist ( First Nation Communities Read 2017) is a dark, gritty novella about growing up in difficult circumstances where abuse and hopelessness are ever-present. The suggestion of violence hovers beneath the surface of every relationship in this harsh tale of self-preservation and personal discovery. Addy must navigate her entry into the cruel world of adulthood alone, discovering along the way the sacrifice involved in truly following her heart and taking responsibility for her actions.
Take Us to Your Chief and Other Stories consists of a collection of nine classic science-fiction stories reinvented with a contemporary First Nation outlook. A forgotten Haudenosaunee social song beams into the cosmos like a homing beacon for interstellar visitors. A computer learns to feel sadness and grief from the history of atrocities committed against First Nations. A young Aboriginal man discovers the secret to time travel in ancient petroglyphs. Drawing inspiration from science fiction authors like Arthur C.
Wenjack by acclaimed author Joseph Boyden joins Gord Downie's Secret Path acknowledging the truth behind the tragic loss of a residential child in 1966. Chanie Wenjack's story is presented as a 112-page fictionalized novella told through the eyes of Chanie and the animals who watch his struggle to reach home by following the railroad tracks. The brief chapters are presented by simple sketches by artist Kent Monkman. These spiritual creatures are sucker fish, crow, hummingbird, owl, mouse skull, pike, spider, wood tick, beaver, snow goose, rabbit, and lynx.
The Break is a 2016 release by Métis author and poet Katherena Vermette. When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break — a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house — she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime. In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim — police, family, and friends — tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend.