A CBC Best Book of 2015
A National Post Best Book of the Year
A CBC Writers to Watch 2015 Selection
Finalist for CBC Canada Reads 2016
Finalist for the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award
Finalist for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize
Finalist for the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction
Finalist for the Evergreen Award
“Twisting, darkly funny, heartbreaking, sometimes brilliant.” —Publishers Weekly
Bernice Meetoos will not be broken.
A big, beautiful Cree woman with a dark secret in her past, Bernice, known as 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 her lingering 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. Informed by Cree traditions and lore, Birdie is a darkly comic and moving first novel about the near-universal experience of recovering from tragedy. 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.
About the author
TRACEY LINDBERG, a woman of Cree-Metis ancestry from northern Alberta, is a professor of law and an Indigenous-rights activist. She has a doctoral degree in law as well as law degrees from the University of Ottawa, Harvard Law School and the University of Saskatchewan. She was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal, the most prestigious award given to a doctoral student in humanities (other past recipients include Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Robert Bourassa and Gabrielle Roy). She has been professor of law at the University of Ottawa and is currently at Athabasca University, where she is Chair of the Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and the Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, Legal Orders and Laws.
Professor Lindberg has published many legally based articles in areas related to Indigenous law and Indigenous women, and she is also a fiction writer, with stories published in a number of literary journals, as well as a blues singer. As she describes herself, she is next in a long line of argumentative Cree women. This is her first novel.
Kobo Emerging Writer Award finalist
2016 Canada Reads finalist
International DUBLIN Literary Award longlist
Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction finalist