Unreserved's fall book pick list
Having an explosion of books by Indigenous authors is a good problem to have — but with so many books to cover, we couldn't possibly get to them all.
So, we cornered a few Indigenous authors at Wordfest in Calgary to tell us which books they're reading, and why you should read them too.
Richard Van Camp
His recommendation is Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice — a dystopian novel that follows a northern Anishinaabe community and its struggle after their electrical power grid shuts down during a cold winter.
"It's a very short novel, but it's a novel that haunts me daily," Van Camp said. "I love it. I'm terrified of it. I'm in awe of Waubgeshig for writing it. I thank him because it is the ultimate what-if novel."
An essential read for Dimaline is Maria Campbell's Half-Breed — a memoir about her experience growing up on a road allowance and her challenges and triumphs along the way.
"She held all of us as a community — she protected the language and she came back home," Dimaline said.
Johnson recommends The Trickster Series by Eden Robinson, a thriller that follows Jared, a teen navigating adolescence with the occasional influence of magic, horror and comedy.
"It contains real magic," Johnson said.
A "phenomenal book" that is top of mind for Elliott is Gwen Benaway's Holy Wild, a poetry collection that addresses how a trans Indigenous woman's life is impacted by dehumanization.
"[It looks at] how we can create love and beauty in those moments, despite everything," Elliott said.
Looking for more book picks? Here are some more recommendations for young readers.