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
ISBN: 9781571313829
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Milkweed Editions - March 9th, 2021

Staff Pick
Part memoir, part call to action, Washington’s Already Toast is a perfect way both to understand and raise awareness of the care economy.  As a full-time home health aide to her cancer-stricken husband, Washington experienced first-hand how all-consuming it is to manage the work of keeping someone alive. She also discovered that she's just one of millions--part of an invisible army of family caregivers in America--whose unpaid labor keeps our troubled healthcare system afloat. Read this book for insight into the vital role that unpaid caregivers play in our society, and why an investment in this infrastructure matters.                                                               
Already Toast: Caregiving and Burnout in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807011508
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Beacon Press - March 16th, 2021

Staff Pick

Jensen’s powerful essays can be read both as a moving memoir of a strong and gifted Métis woman growing up in violence and poverty, and as a composite portrait of the nation whose history and values foster such difficult circumstances. The book opens with a stunning report from the Bakken fracking territory near Standing Rock; while extraction companies ravage the land, their workers menace the area’s Indigenous women, and Jensen traces these twin assaults to the country’s history of attempted genocide of Native peoples. She finds a similar trajectory in place after place she’s lived and visited, from her childhood with an abusive father in Audubon County, Iowa, to the “ordinary, everyday” workplace misogyny in Kingman, Arizona,—where Timothy McVeigh planned his attack—St. Paul, where the woman next door later murdered a cousin; and Pittsburgh, site of the 2018 Squirrel Hill mass shooting. Jensen further deepens this focus on origins with deft etymological research, and she manages to convey everything in steeled and impassioned prose, channeling her outrage and anger—as well as a deep humanity that reaches out to the perpetrators of violence as well as the victims—into sharply cadenced sentences that have the force—and grace—of litanies. 

Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984821188
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Ballantine Books - September 8th, 2020