Northern Light, by Kazim Ali

Staff Pick

Ali, a noted poet, was born in London to Pakistani parents, “mainly grew up” in Staten Island and other American cities, but always felt closest to JenPeg, the tiny Manitoba town—headquarters for a dam project—where he learned to read and to look at the stars. But years later, idly wondering what became of it, Ali discovers instead the world of nearby Cross Lake, home of the Pimicikamak Cree. Unaware of the region’s Indigenous population when he lived here, Ali is stunned to learn of a rash of suicides among its young people; seeking to understand both this and the pull the place—and, more, the people—suddenly have on him, he travels to Cross Lake. His heartfelt book, a graceful weave of memoir, journalism, and meditations on home, colonialism, climate change, and more, chronicles Ali’s meetings with the Cree—whose warm welcome included an invitation to join their Sweat Ceremony—the history of Native-European relations, and the lasting trauma of white efforts to repress Indigenous culture. But it also testifies to this people’s resilience and sprit as they recover traditional ways, from language and ritual to a sustainable, reverent relationship with the land.

Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781571313829
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Milkweed Editions - March 9th, 2021

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