Hi guys! Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you choose a book for each of these three categories: a diverse book you’ve read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your tbr, and a diverse book that hasn’t been released yet. This week all my picks are books written by indigenous women.
Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father, an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist, who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.
I finished this book earlier this week and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. Mailhot tells a harrowing story in sharp, but beautiful prose that pierces right to the soul.
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
In a futuristic world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream, and the dreamlessness has led to widespread madness. The only people still able to dream are North America’s Indigenous people, and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world. But getting the marrow, and dreams, means death for the unwilling donors. Driven to flight, a fifteen-year-old and his companions struggle for survival, attempt to reunite with loved ones and take refuge from the “recruiters” who seek them out to bring them to the marrow-stealing “factories.”
I’ve heard so many amazing things about this book, it’s supposed to be incredibly emotional and powerful. Dystopians aren’t my favorite thing, but I really want to read more books by indigenous writers – so I’m happy to make an exception for this one.
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, June 26th
While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters. Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much larger and more terrifying than anything she could imagine. She reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel to the rez to unravel clues from ancient legends, trade favors with tricksters, and battle dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.
I love books based on mythology, so this #OwnVoices book inspired by Native American myths and legends sounds perfect to me.
Have you read any of these books? Or do you have any of them on your TBR? Have you read any books written by indigenous women?