Books·Books of the Year

Why Leanne Betasamosake Simpson loved Billy-Ray Belcourt's This Wound is a World

In December, authors are sharing their favourite books of 2017 with CBC Books.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson chose Billy-Ray Belcourt's This Wound is a World as her favourite book of 2017. (Nadya Kwandibens/Frontenac House)

Happy holidays! CBC Books asked authors to share their favourite books of 2017. We will be publishing these recommendations throughout December. 

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson chose This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt.

"This Wound is a World is a decolonial wild fire from which the acclaimed writer Billy-Ray Belcourt builds a new world — and it's the brilliant, radiant Indigenous world, I want to live in. His poetics create space out of nothing, unapologetically inhabit that space and then gift it to us with uninhibited love. 

"Belcourt is sovereign genius and This Wound is a World redefines poetics as a refusal of colonial erasure, a radical celebration of Indigenous life and our beautiful, intimate rebellion.

"This is a breathtaking masterpiece. Belcourt has emerged fully formed."

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg musician, artist, author and member of Alderville First Nation. Her work often centres on the struggles of Indigenous Canadians. Her collection of stories and poems, called This Accident of Being Lost, was a 2017 finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.