A Mind Spread out on the Ground
If you enjoyed Heart Berries, then you’ll love A Mind Spread out on the Ground.
“In this memoir, author Alicia Elliott recounts her (not unhappy) childhood living in poverty and often homelessness, her conflicting feelings for her white Catholic mother who suffered from bipolar disorder, and her experiences of what it’s like to be Indigenous today (she’s Tuscarora). The lasting effects of colonialism, genocide, and assimilation are evident throughout her life and—as she thoroughly explores—in the lives of all Indigenous peoples. I was particularly captivated by her perspective on trauma—the way people always want proof that it happened, that survivors are often urged to painfully recount it over and over again, that sometimes it’s healthy to intentionally forget. Her final essay, which she deems “participatory,” asks the reader about abuse—what does it mean, what are its consequences, who’s allowed to do it and who isn’t, is it worth losing people over. This interesting book won’t drag you through the trenches like Heart Berries, but readers of Terese Marie Mailhot would do well to pick it up.”Mary, Raven Book Store
If you enjoyed Minor Feelings, then you’ll love A Mind Spread out on the Ground.
“This collection of essays form a rough memoir about the author and about the intergenerational harm and genocide that colonists perpetuated on to the Native people of Canada. While this is a Canadian author, the harms translate directly on to Americans as well. The author is so honest about what it's like, growing up in extreme poverty, floating between two worlds, yet not really fitting in either. With her white, mentally ill mother and her Haudenosaunee father who is the product of his people, the family moved often and was cognizant about avoiding social services, that have broken up so many Native families. Elliott brings up racial injustices, cultural genocide and forced separation in a way that is personal yet shows long lasting repercussions for her people. This collection of essays in nothing short of brilliant yet conveyed in a way that is understandable and approachable. In short, this is a must read.”Audrey, Belmont Books
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