July is gone, but its spirit lives on! Below is a compilation of some of the additions Hailey and I made to the Page and Prose website over the month of July.
Hailey has been building out our Instagram page, which you can find here. Come for the lovely monochromatic bookstack photography, stay for the fun Question of the Day in the comments section!
We finished our second monthly buddy read, on Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves. Our full review can be found here, and you can also find a short review on our Instagram page (which again, is right here). We chose this book as part of our stated goal to read books by and about Indigenous peoples of Canada throughout the month of July — more on that later!
We weathered our first major technological crisis this month, which incidentally, is why our July wrap-up has been posted in August. It was all very exciting — the White Screen of Death! Critical error messages! Terror and mayhem! Anyway, let’s never do that again.
Hailey and I began the 2021 Indigo Reading Challenge, because we both had soooo much free time (she sobbed into her TBR list). Anyway, you can track how well we are doing here, and do feel free to join in!
This July, Hailey and I wanted to highlight Indigenous storytellers all month. It has become more important than ever to educate ourselves and to seek out #OwnVoices stories. While we are by no means authorities on Indigenous literature or cultures, here are some books we have read and would recommend:
- This Place: 150 Years Retold, by various authors: An anthology that gathers ten stories from the perspective of Indigenous Canadians, reclaiming the narrative of the past 150 years of history. Lush, beautiful artwork accompanies these poignant stories that range from true biography to futuristic science fiction.
- The Inconvenient Indian, by Thomas King: A non-fiction summary of the atrocities faced by Indigenous peoples across North America. This book is both incredibly funny and emotionally devastating, and it is an excellent place to gain a background understanding of Indigenous history in Canada and the United States.
- The Marrow Thieves, by Cherie Dimaline: Dark, dystopian, but also disturbingly familiar, the story follows a rag-tag group of Indigenous survivors trying to stay one step ahead of government agents who are intent on harvesting their marrow as a medical resource.
- Canada’s Indigenous Constitution, by John Borrows: Another non-fiction book, this one discusses legal systems that existed in Canada long before European settlers ever arrived, through to modern Canadian/Aboriginal law. I found this book through my law school reading lists, and while it is definitely more technical than The Inconvenient Indian, the book undertakes the much-needed project of reframing Indigenous peoples’ relationship with Canadian law throughout history.
If you have your own recommendations, send them over to us, or post them in the comments!
Once again, I should let you know that I am no expert on Indigenous literature or on the Indigenous cultures of Canada. If you want a better list by more informed people, you can try here, or here , or here. I highly recommend the American Indians in Children’s Literature blog, established by Dr. Debbie Reese, which provides detailed discussions on the representation of Indigenous peoples in children’s literature; you can find it here. And if you want to learn a bit about some of the Indigenous cultures of Canada, there is a free course online through the University of Alberta, which you can check out here . You can also see the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s reports on the residential schools and some of the horrors faced by Indigenous peoples in Canada here.
In some book-related news: it has been the month of Neil Gaiman around here. First, we got an announcement that Good Omens is getting a second season. Then, we heard that Anansi Boys is getting its very own adaptation. Most importantly of all, my mother read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and she loved it so much that she now wants to read all of Neil Gaiman’s other works.
Happy reading, friends!