We are very excited to have received Leanne Betasamosake Simpson's new collection of poems, stories, and songs, This Accident of Being Lost! Simpson is a storyteller, artist, activist, mother, and academic of Mississauga Nishnaabe and Scottish descent. Her previous collection, Islands of Decolonial Love, has been a favourite in our store since it came out in 2013.
Simpson is almost preternaturally versatile: Naomi Klein has called her "a genius shape-shifter and defiant genre-detonator." In This Accident of Being Lost, fragmentary, hashtag-studded poems rub shoulders with song lyrics and short stories that blend traditional storytelling with science-fiction and wry, observational domestic realism; near-future lovers visit the last remaining corner of the boreal forest; three comrades guerilla-tap maple trees in a wealthy suburb; a woman tries to avoid the overbearing social advances of an affluent hippie mother in the "hostile, tidy-bun territory" of her daughter's ballet class.
In all these varied formats, Simpson's style is defined by her uncompromising commitment to truth-telling: she confronts settler colonialism with tireless integrity, protecting Indigenous knowledge while at the same time providing important context for non-Indigenous audiences. Simpson is generous in her humour and vulnerability: her characters are anxious and uncertain; they obsess over social media feeds and use encrypted texting apps; their struggle is quotidian as well as historical. As the Globe & Mail's glowing review noted, "Her writing educates the reader even as it admits to not having all the answers." We're lucky to have it.