Friday, June 29, 2018

Five top books by Indigenous speculative fiction authors

Rebecca Roanhorse's new novel is Trail of Lightning.

One of five speculative fiction books written by Indigenous to the Americas authors that she recommended at
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

The Marrow Thieves has won a ton of awards in Canada and the United States, including the coveted Kirkus prize for 2017, and for good reason.

It’s a YA novel set in a dystopian future where the non-Indigenous population have lost the ability to dream. Indigenous people can still dream and they are hunted by government goon squads for the marrow in their bones, which is used to make a dreaming cure. Our protagonist is a boy named Frenchie who meets up with a ragtag crew of other Indigenous people on the run as they all head north to the places rumored to be safer than the cities. Each crew member has their own story of horror and survival and loss, but together they are strong.

It’s a beautifully written but exceedingly creepy tale that mirrors almost too closely the very real exploitation of natural resources on Indigenous land and the history of forcing children into boarding schools to force assimilation and destroy their culture. Not everyone makes it out alive, but the story still manages to resonate with hope and found family.

Dimaline also has another YA novel from 2013 called The Girl Who Grew A Galaxy about a girl whose emotions become planets that circle around her head. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s going on my TBR.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue