Alicia Elliott

Alicia Elliott is a Tuscarora writer living in Brantford, Ont.
Alicia Elliott poses for a portrait at the offices of Penguin Random House Canada, the publisher of her new book A Mind Spread Out on the Ground, in Toronto on March 21, 2019. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press)

Alicia Elliott is a Tuscarora writer living in Brantford, Ontario. Her writing has been published most recently in Room, Grain and The New Quarterly. Her essay A Mind Spread Out on the Ground in The Malahat Review won gold at the National Magazine Awards in 2017. She turned the essay into a full-length collection of the same name, offering a wide-ranging look at the personal and political connections between the legacy of colonialism with intergenerational trauma, racism, mental health and poverty.

CBC Books named Elliott a writer to watch in 2019.

Books by Alicia Elliott

Why Alicia Elliott wrote A Mind Spread Out on the Ground

"I hope that the book makes people think more critically about how they got to where they are. There's this notion that people are the result of their own actions and to a degree that's true. But there are also ways where you aren't always in control of how you got to where you are.

I hope that the book makes people think more critically about how they got to where they are.- Alicia Elliott

"How parents get to where they are and how does that impact you? How did their views impact how you saw the world? Did the circumstances that their own parents were in affect them — and how did that affect you? I want people to think more critically about circumstances, histories and systems of discrimination and how they bear down upon individuals as opposed to thinking about these things as abstract concepts. 

"When you think about racism, colonialism or transphobia, these are these big words that don't necessarily mean something physical, but I want to be grounded in individual experiences. I want people to think about how they are grounded in their individual experiences."

Read more in her interview with CBC Books.

Interviews with Alicia Elliott

Pushing past the margins, Indigenous authors are making space for their voices and stories. This week on Unreserved, what is Indigenous literature, and is it part of the larger CanLit scene? 46:43
TNC columnist Candy Palmater talks to Shelagh Rogers about three debut books 10:45

More about A Mind Spread Out on the Ground


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