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list price: $19.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
category: Fiction
published: April 2017
ISBN:9781487001278
imprint: Astoria

This Accident of Being Lost

Songs and Stories

by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $19.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
category: Fiction
published: April 2017
ISBN:9781487001278
imprint: Astoria
Description

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.

About the Author

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Leanne's books are regularly used in courses across Canada and the United States including Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back, The Gift Is in the Making, Lighting the Eighth Fire (editor), This Is An Honour Song (editor with Kiera Ladner) and The Winter We Danced: Voice from the Past, the Future and the Idle No More Movement (Kino-nda-niimi editorial collective). Her paper "Land As Pedagogy" was awarded the Most thought-provoking 2014 article in Native American and Indigenous Studies. Her latest book, As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance is being published by the University of Minnesota Press in the fall of 2017. As a writer, Leanne was named the inaugural RBC Charles Taylor Emerging writer by Thomas King. She has published extensive fiction and poetry in both book and magazine form. Her second book of short stories and poetry, This Accident of Being Lost is a follow up to the acclaimed Islands of Decolonial Love and was published by the House of Anansi Press in Spring 2017. Leanne is Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg and a member of Alderville First Nation.

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

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.

Awards
  • Short-listed, Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
Editorial Reviews

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.

— The Globe and Mail

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.

— Thomas King, author of Green Grass, Running Water and The Inconvenient Indian

This Accident of Being Lost forces readers to look at Canada differently.

— THIS Magazine

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.

— Katherena Vermette, author of The Break

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.

— Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

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.

— Publishers Weekly

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Reader Reviews

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Cracked me open with new viewpoints!

This is not a book to make you feel good. This is a book that makes you feel uncomfortable. As a white woman reading this book I felt guilt, I laughed at myself and my efforts and I sure did learn a lot. I think that reading this book is important and I think that people should do it, but they might be a little uncomfortable along the way. And that’s a good thing white people. We should get uncomfortable.

This is a collection which might be a bit difficult to explain. It is made up of short stories, poetry and lyrics. It is powerful and mighty. It touches you in new ways and cracks open a whole new way of understanding, a new viewpoint. It makes you giggle at what you thought you understood.

My favourite parts of the collection were the almost dystopian stories that looked a little bit into the future where we encounter a messed up and shitty old Mother Earth. People have ruined Canada and there is almost no natural world left. These stories are fascinating and gut wrenching. In my favourite story we encounter a pair of lovers about to pay all the money they have in the world to visit the last remaining corner of the boreal forest.

There are also some aspects of Nishnaabeg storytelling, with a twist. All in all an imaginative and excellent collection.

Related Blog Posts

Reading Lists Featuring “This Accident of Being Lost”

Other Titles by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Dancing On Our Turtle's Back

Dancing On Our Turtle's Back

Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence, and a New Emergence
edition:eBook
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