Theytus and KEGEDONCE Press Top 3 picks for 2013Posted June 10, 2013
This issue we asked the experts, Theytus and Kegedonce- two of Canada’s Indigenous publishers, to give us the goods on their Top 3 Books for 2013, pulled from their own rosters and ready to take the world by storm.
Theytus Books picks their TOP 3 Books for 2013
Theytus Books is a leading North American publisher of Indigenous voices. Located in Syilx territory on the Penticton Indian Reserve in British Columbia, Theytus Books is proudly First Nations-owned and operated in partnership with the En'owkin Centre.
As the oldest Indigenous publishing house in Canada, Theytus Books is recognized and respected internationally for its contributions to Aboriginal literature. Since its inception in 1980, Theytus Books has been a leading proponent for Indigenous authors, illustrators and artists. It ensures that their voice and vision are expressed with the highest level of cultural authenticity and integrity.
In Salish, “theytus” means “preserving for the sake of handing down.” For founder Randy Fred, the name “Theytus” symbolizes the goal of documenting Indigenous cultures and world views through books.
The Country of Sen-om-tuse
Andrew Joseph Sr.
Learning the importance of self-sufficiency and hard work from his parents and cultural teachers, early in life Andy Joseph Sr. carved out a career as a skilled laborer, accomplished athlete, and elected leader of the Colville Business Council. When Andy started school, knowing little or nothing of English, he quickly became proficient in the exclusive language of his teachers. Andy’s stories demonstrate how he managed to adapt to such challenges and still retain his traditions. As an adult, he has shared his language and culture with many younger tribal members who now struggle to acquire a basic vocabulary. Telling and listening to life stories is an important social activity among tradition oriented people worldwide.
The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy
A galaxy of odd planets spins around Ruby Bloom’s head, slick and regulated as a game of snooker.
The big purple one is Anxiety. It grew in the slipstream of Guilt, a smooth, loud planet with two moons: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Agoraphobia. The black one is Envy. It’s crusted with ice and solid as tungsten. The pink spotted one, a loud sparkly affair, is Fantasy and it careens wildly about like a ball after the break. There is a shiny amber globe that catches passing light; a small marble named Longing that is the brightest of all the orbs.
The universe didn’t start with a big bang of cosmic proportions; instead it grew out of trauma that occurred in the middle of an otherwise quiet childhood. It began the day Ruby Bloom, age seven and a half, killed her grandfather.
Stones and Switches
Stones and Switches, Lorne Simon’s first and only novel, takes the reader into the world of the Micmacs during the depression era—a world where beautiful legends and terrible spiritual powers meet; a world where a hardworking people struggle against poverty, racism and lethal epidemics; a world where one sensitive, young man, caught by events, questions the idea of free will and is tempted to do something—even something wrong— in order to assert his will.
KEGEDONCE Press picks their Top 3 Books for 2013
Kegedonce Press is a First Nations - owned and operated publisher committed to the development, promotion and publication of Indigenous Peoples. Since 1993, this company has been crafting beautiful books that involve Indigenous Peoples at all levels of production. High quality design, materials and production are the cornerstones of the company’s aesthetic approach to publishing. Kegedonce Press is based at Neyaashiinigmiing, on the traditional territory of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation. Visit kegedonce.com to read more.
Walking in Balance
By Basil H. Johnston
"We have, according to our beliefs, five essential parts: body, soul, spirit, heart, and mind which all have to be satisfied equally. When you are in balance you are walking on the right road, following the right path of life." - Basil Johnston
Walking in Balance is the third book in the Anishinaubaemowin Series. The ten stories in both Anishinaabe and English languages follow up on the lessons and teachings found within Living in Harmony and Gift of the Stars.
Recently awarded The International Board on Books for Young People, based in Basel, Switzerland, Mr. Johnston was included on the group's 2012 Honour List for his book Anangoog Meegiwawinan (The Gift of the Stars).
By Joanne Arnott
In Halfling spring, a series of notes unfolds the dance of desire versus trust through a long season of actual and metaphorical springtime. Joanne Arnott is a Métis/mixed blood mother of six, and in this collection she continues her explorations of love, intimacy, and family, with a focus on electronic connections (internet love). Transiting Canada from Victoria to Iqaluit, and transitioning from virtual to real (fantasy to reality), she inspects the realms of miscegenation and love in a class conscious and cross- cultural context, revealing en route the many ways that our deepest connections unveil the depths of old pain. Optimistic and playful, romantic and mythic, affirming embodiment, this process of poetic revelation shows all the dirty tricks of love.
Ceremonies for the Dead
By Giles Benaway
Ceremonies for the Dead examines the haunting themes of inter-generational trauma, cyclical abuse and inherited grief. Four generations of the dead take turns narrating these themes, navigating from the Great Lakes through the Appalachian Mountains, and examining the fur trade, an exile from Minnesota, the experiences of West Virginia coal miners, and the legacy of mission schools. Black humour and satire fill the collection, illuminating a fierce determination to survive and resist colonization and the endurance of culture and identity under extreme duress.
Ceremonies for the Dead is the debut book of poetry written by Giles Benaway, who represents a unique voice in the field of Indigenous writing.