A Mind Spread Out on the Ground
In an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about the treatment of Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma, Alicia Elliott offers indispensable insight and understanding to the ongoing legacy of colonialism. What are the links between depression, colonialism and loss of language — both figurative and literal? How does white privilege operate in different contexts? How do we navigate the painful contours of mental illness in loved ones without turning them into their sickness? How does colonialism operate on the level of literary criticism?
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground is Alicia Elliott's attempt to answer these questions and more. In the process, she engages with such wide-ranging topics as race, parenthood, love, mental illness, poverty, sexual assault, gentrification, writing and representation. Elliott makes connections both large and small between the past and present, the personal and political — from overcoming a years-long history with head lice to the way Native writers are treated within the Canadian literary industry; her unplanned teenage pregnancy to the history of dark matter and how it relates to racism in the court system; her childhood diet of Kraft dinner to how systematic oppression is linked to depression in Native communities. With deep consideration and searing prose, Elliott extends far beyond her own experiences to provide a candid look at our past, an illuminating portrait of our present and a powerful tool for a better future. (From Doubleday Canada)
Elliott was chosen by Tanya Talaga as the recipient for the 2018 RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award.
- The Indigenous renaissance was truly here in 2018 — and it's not going anywhere
- Alicia Elliott recommends The Stone Collection by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
- The cultural appropriation debate isn't about free speech — it's about context
- 19 works of Canadian nonfiction to check out in spring 2019
- Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott's personal look at intergenerational trauma
- Living with lice for a decade became a metaphor for the shame of poverty, says writer Alicia Elliott