Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 17
- Grade: 8 to 12
Cherie Dimaline told us this book should be classified as R. Wait, that is for movies - Oh, same thing. Language, themes, violence, sex and portrayal of drug use may be offensive to some readers. Reader discretion is advised. What is all the ruckus about? Naomi, a Native chambermaid in a busy downtown hotel, amuses herself by imagining the past, present and future lives of five hotel guests, whom she observed in passing, in the hotel lobby and through relics left in their rooms. Struck by their remains, their footprints and their clues, Naomi patches them together to weave tales of infatuation, love, infidelity, illness, death and family. In Red Rooms, Naomi tells the tales of the young prostitute and her invasive spirits, the terminally ill couture collector, the photographer looking for homegrown identity in foreign lands, the businesswoman who discovers the diary of a jingle-dress dancer and a woman emerging from an obsessive affair. They all check in for a temporary stay, living out complicated lives in these simple spaces. Strung together through Naomi's narration, the stories in Red Rooms portray a complex and beautiful urban Native community.
About the author
Cherie Dimaline is a Métis author and editor whose award-winning fiction has been published and anthologized internationally. Her novels include Red Rooms, The Girl Who Grew A Galaxy, A Gentle Habit, The Marrow Thieves and Empire of Wild. In 2014, she was named the Emerging Artist of the Year at the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and became the first Indigenous Writer in Residence for the Toronto Public Library. Her young adult novel The Marrow Thieves has won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Kirkus Prize, the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature and was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award and, among other honors, was a fan favorite in the 2018 edition of CBC's Canada Reads. It was also a Book of the Year on numerous lists including NPR, School Library Journal, the New York Public Library, the Globe & Mail, Quill & Quire and the CBC. From the Georgian Bay Métis Community in Ontario, she now lives in Vancouver.
"Haunting and complex Red Rooms is the Native Rosetta Stone. A lovely tour de force from an up-and-coming writer to watch."