Join us celebrating Birdie, one of the Best Books of the Year in 2015 on CBC and National Post, and one of the books on the CBC Reads 2016 longlist!
This is an event that cannot be missed.
Author Tracey Lindberg will be in conversation with Dr. Kahente Horn-Miller about her debut novel Birdie following a reading from her book.
Bernice Meetoos will not be broken.
A big, beautiful Cree woman with a dark secret in her past, Bernice (Birdie) has left her home in northern Alberta to travel to Gibsons, B.C. She is on something of a vision quest, looking for family, for home, for understanding. She is also driven by the leftover teenaged desire to meet Pat John—Jesse from The Beachcombers—because he is, as she says, a working, healthy Indian man. Birdie heads for Molly’s Reach to find answers, but they are not the ones she expected.
With the arrival in Gibsons of her Auntie Val and her cousin Skinny Freda, Birdie begins to draw from her dreams the lessons she was never fully taught in life. Part dream quest and part travelogue, Birdie is a darkly comic and moving first novel about the universal experience of recovering from tragedy, informed by the lore and knowledge of Cree traditions. At heart, it is the story of an extraordinary woman who travels to the deepest part of herself to find the strength to face the past and to build a new life.
“Birdie roars with life. Tracey Lindberg weaves a gripping account of a painful journey. Her heroine Bernice is by turns lyrical and brutal, gripping and insightful. An uncompromising first novel.”—EDEN ROBINSON, Award-winning author of Monkey Beach and Blood Sports
"Birdie is an example of what riches Canadian readers are missing when they’re overlooking First Nations women writers—a novel about women’s lives and experiences, the connections between them, and what happens when those connections are broken." http://goo.gl/yg98j6
Tuesday, January 19 2016
Octopus Books Centretown
251 Bank St. 2nd floor
TRACEY LINDBERG is a citizen of As’in’i’wa’chi Ni’yaw Nation Rocky Mountain Cree and hails from the Kelly Lake Cree Nation community. She is an award-winning academic writer and teaches Indigenous studies and Indigenous law at two universities in Canada. She sings the blues loudly, talks quietly and is next in a long line of argumentative Cree women. Birdie is her first novel. For more about Tracey: http://www.traceylindberg.ca/.
Dr. KAHENTE HORN-MILLER (Kahente means “she walks ahead”) (Kanien:keha’ka/Mohawk) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton University where she teaches Indigenous Studies. Her performances, governance work and community-based research involve interpreting Haudenosaunee culture and bringing new life to old traditions. It is the fruit of her endeavors as a Mohawk, an educator, and a mother that she brings into her interactions with Onkwehonwe (original peoples) and the academic community. Academics for her is not only about theorizing the issues that Indigenous peoples face as a way to find solutions; it is also about putting these theories in to practice. She does this most specifically through her rematriation work in the retelling of the Sky Woman Narrative, the active work of teaching consensus building and in the classroom. It is also through writing, research, performances and teaching that she challenges others to learn about Indigenous cultures and about themselves as humans, which in the long term fosters relationships between Indigenous and non-native peoples that will go beyond the written word and the classroom and research settings and reconnects us to the realities of reinvigorating Indigenous traditions in the modern world.