This was such an amazing book. I didn’t totally get it at first, the format threw me. It’s better in print than as an audiobook and I went back and reread the passages that confused me, but the audiobook has an interview at the end that is great and explains a lot. It also gave me the next memoir to listen to, The Turquoise Ledge by Leslie Marmon Silko. It’s considerably longer, but I’m looking forward to it.
This one was a short memoir, 122 pages or just under 4 hours on audio, but it packs a punch. The format is a big part of what threw me at first. There are long stretches that use the second person and are talking to a romantic partner and then there’s a part at the end in the second person talking to her mother and some first person in the middle. The idea is that she’s working through her thoughts and heartbreak and trauma. Nothing is what it seems in the beginning and new things are coming to light. She begins unwell and works her way toward wellness throughout the book. It’s a story of survival.
At the same time, Mailhot is acutely aware and verbal about so many of the dynamics of gender and race and post-colonialism that it’s a great book for feminists striving to understand the way that all these things impact Native American women. It’s a great book for anyone who reads women’s memoirs or wants to know more about the lives of Native Americans. Add it to Goodreads and check it out before the end of the month!