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Saturday, 8 April 2017

New & Notable: This Accident of Being Lost by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson!


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. 

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