Monday October 02, 2017
How Cherie Dimaline found hope in a dystopian future
more stories from this episode
- How Cherie Dimaline found hope in a dystopian future
- Why Minister Faust mixes mixing contemporary urban life with ancient African history in his fiction
- How John MacLachlan Gray put his own spin on a real life cold case
- The powerful reminder B. Denham Jolly's memoir gave Donna Bailey Nurse
- Why Roberta Rich finds inspiration in Anna Karenina's downfall
- Why Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel leaves songwriter Luke Roes baffled
- Full Episode
Cherie Dimaline's community is often the inspiration for her work. The award-winning work of the Métis author and editor draws on the rich culture and history of Indigenous Canadians, as well as the struggles they have faced historically — and currently. Her YA novel The Marrow Thieves is set in a dystopian future where Indigenous people are being hunted for their bone marrow.
On disarming defensiveness
"I wanted to put aside, even for a moment, that sense of defensiveness or the tendency to shut down that can come with talking about a difficult history — for example, attempted genocide — so there is a real learning or personal emotional involvement that can happen. I wanted people to come away saying, 'I would never let that happen,' or, more correctly, 'I would never let that happen again.'"
On the dystopian future she imagined
"I think the light through the bleakness in this dystopia is the fact that our community still exists. I wanted Indigenous youth to see themselves in the future. The dreams, of course, symbolize hope, the hope that we've always had as Indigenous people. I wanted the youth to see that hope and survival in a future context."
The influence of seven generations
"We know that from experience, when we live in a communal way and we think about others in our community, it's a better life. When I'm thinking about decisions of policy or working with the government, I think seven generations back because I need to draw on the teachings of the people that came before me. I also need to think seven generations into the future to think about the impact that my actions are going to have."
Cherie Dimaline's comments have been edited and condensed.