Aimal over at Bookshelves and Paperbacks started Diversity Spotlight Thursday a while back and I’m only just now getting around to participating. The point of the series is to draw attention to great diverse books that may not be getting that much love or attention by talking about a diverse book you’ve read, one you’re planning to and a not-yet-released book you’re excited for.
A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
Kuessipan by Naomi Fontaine
I read Kuessipan last month and it’s a short yet impactful little delight of a book. Originally written in French, Kuessipan is a story of an Innu community in Northern Québec. Although billed as a novel, the book reads more like short stories. Through multiple perspectives and events, Fontaine weaves a narrative of a community, struggling, dreaming, hoping, celebrating and transforming.
A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
Kiss of the Fur Queen by Tomson Highway
I probably should have read this book in school but unfortunately never did. Tomson Highway is better known as a playwright but his first novel, Kiss of the Fur Queen, is a Canadian classic. Centred on the lives of two Cree brothers, the book follows them from childhood to adulthood, as they’re forcibly removed from their home and set to residential school, and the consequences and struggle of feeling estranged and alienated from their culture as young men.
A diverse book that has not yet been released
Surviving Canada: Indigenous Peoples Celebrate 150 Years of Betrayal, edited by Kiera L. Ladner and Myra Tait
Is it cheating to post a book that was released really recently but that you missed the date for? I thought this book was out in June but was actually published in late May. Surviving Canada is a collection of essays, literature and art that examines a variety of topics from The Indian Act, to Idle No More, to residential schools and more. The contributors in this anthology are elders, scholars, activists, and artists, including names such as Mary Eberts, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Leroy Little Bear. I’m really looking forward to this anthology and to see what it topics and voices it encompasses.