Tracey Lindberg's Birdie celebrates women's strength

First-time novelist Tracey Lindberg on her comedic look at one woman's quest to recover from a tragic past.

First-time novelist Tracey Lindberg joins Shad to discuss her book Birdie, a comedic look at one woman's quest to recover from a tragic past — in this case by returning to Cree traditions.

She uses horrific abuse as a means to highlight the strength and power of women, and puts a different lens on indigenous people — especially the notion of their so-called stoic humour and attitude. 

Lindberg also reflects on what The Beachcombers, a much-loved CBC comedy that featured Pat Johns as the Native character Jesse Jim, means both to her and the book's main character Bernice Meetoos.

"When you tuned in, as a young Cree girl, to see somebody on TV at night who looked like you, and kind of sounded like you ... and to see yourself reflected within that, was a big deal," she explains.

Cree author, lawyer and activist Tracey Lindberg in studio q today, talking about her debut novel Birdie. (Fabiola Carletti/CBC)