2017 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Finalist
This Accident of Being Lost is the knife-sharp new collection of stories and songs from award-winning Nishnaabeg storyteller and writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. These visionary pieces build upon Simpson's powerful use of the fragment as a tool for intervention in her critically acclaimed collection Islands of Decolonial Love. Provocateur and poet, she continually rebirths a decolonized reality, one that circles in and out of time and resists dominant narratives or comfortable categorization. A crow watches over a deer addicted to road salt; Lake Ontario floods Toronto to remake the world while texting "ARE THEY GETTING IT?"; lovers visit the last remaining corner of the boreal forest; three comrades guerrilla-tap maples in an upper middle-class neighbourhood; and Kwe gets her firearms license in rural Ontario. Blending elements of Nishnaabeg storytelling, science fiction, contemporary realism, and the lyric voice, This Accident of Being Lost burns with a quiet intensity, like a campfire in your backyard, challenging you to reconsider the world you thought you knew.
LEANNE BETASAMOSAKE SIMPSON is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg writer, scholar, musician, and is a member of Alderville First Nation. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba and has lectured at universities across Canada. She is the author of three previous books, including Islands of Decolonial Love, and the editor of three anthologies. She has released two albums, including f(l)ight, which is a companion piece to this collection.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a poet who strides through multiple realms. In This Accident of Being Lost, she carries the reader along with her urgent, direct address . . . It is the uneasiness and emotional uncertainty of her characters that makes the book strangely addictive. I was stunned by Simpson’s generosity in sharing these experiences and inviting us to be challenged and to be lost. I welcomed having my assumptions about urban Indigenous people upended, and this is accomplished with the nourishing humour, wisdom, and poetic, loose-limbed lines that have been sewn through the stories.
Leanne is a gifted writer who brings passion and commitment to her storytelling and who has demonstrated an uncommon ability to manage an impressive range of genres from traditional storytelling to critical analysis, from poetry to spoken word, from literary and social activism to songwriting. She is, in my opinion, one of the more articulate and engaged voices of her generation.
This Accident of Being Lost forces readers to look at Canada differently.
Blending song and story, humour and truth, This Accident of Being Lost feels so intimate and so familiar. It is the story of our sisters, cousins, and friends. I love this book. Simpson is a master lyricist, captivating storyteller, and a true gift to us all.
Playful, pissed off and ferociously funny, Leanne Simpson writes irresistible love stories in the jaws of genocide. A genius shape-shifter and defiant genre-detonator, there is quite simply no one like her.
A stunning collection of poetry, song, and short fiction. These short pieces are darkly humorous, elegantly constructed, and beautifully sorrowful . . . The stories are not bleak, and a wry sense of humor glimmers throughout, walking hand in hand with damaged humanity to create a gentleness that combats the sometimes grim subject matter . . . This is a truly creative and heartfelt work, thoroughly modern in tone and timbre.