As part of National Indigenous History Month, we asked two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Eden Robinson to curate a list of five emerging Indigenous authors to spotlight. These writers examine topics of race, sexuality, trauma, survival, gender and so much more in their work from a range of insightful and refreshing perspectives. Your reading list just got longer.
"In Moon of the Crusted Snow, when the power goes out, Evan Whitesky is a Rez Everyman with a young family. Rice paints Whitesky in quiet, deft strokes, capturing the chill splendor of surviving the end of the world where Chief and Council are just cousins doing their best. Equally powerful are his first short story collection, Midnight Sweatlodge, and his debut novel, Legacy. Author and journalist, Rice is the host of CBC Up North and an avid Leafs fan." —Eden
"'Don’t mistake my words for trauma porn…my trauma is not a commodity, but my story doesn’t always have to be uplifting, resurgent, or revolutionary to be my truth, either.' I wish I could hop back in a time machine and read Cree-Métis-Saulteaux critic/curator NDN punk Lindsay Nixon’s essay on trauma to my nineteen-year-old self. Reading her memoir nîtisânak is like having your cool cuz tell you how the world really works and is shortlisted for the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ emerging writers." —Eden
"Jonny Appleseed was a finalist for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ emerging writers and was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Whiteheads’ titular character and self-proclaimed NDN glitter princess has gone through pain but is triumphant and shifting it [the pain] into love. In a one-two punch, in 2017, he also came out with the wildly energetic Full Metal Indigiqueer, a poetry collection with one of my favourite tricksters of all time, Zoa." —Eden
"This Nehiyaw, Two-Spirit, Trans Woman poet and multi-media artist is originally from George Gordon First Nation, Saskatchewan and is now based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. I first read her extraordinary work “Soakers” in The Fiddlehead, and then her debut poetry collection, the incendiary Disintegrate/Dissociate. Twist does not flinch when she lays her truth on the page, vulnerable and fierce as she explores trauma and resiliency." —Eden
"Future matriarch and wrestling fan, Elliott announced her presence in the literary world by winning the National Magazine Award for her essay, “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground,” which is now the title of her recently published collection. Tanya Talaga named her the winner of the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award in 2018. She writes openly about poverty, racism and violence but as she demonstrated in “Dark Matter” she is a master weaver, untangling threads of personal response to Gerald Stanley being acquitted of Colten Bushie’s murder, the search for dark matter and the similar way unacknowledged racism works in Canada." —Eden
Haisla/Heiltsuk novelist Eden Robinson is the author of a collection of short stories, Traplines, written when she was a Goth and it won the Winifred Holtby Prize in the UK. Her first novel, Monkey Beach, won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Son of a Trickster was also a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. In 2017, she won the Writers’ Trust of Canada Fellowship. Her latest novel is Trickster Drift. She lives in Kitimat, BC.