Unreserved

'So much absurdity in everyday living': Lakota writer's musings on life, politics and identity in new book

Some call Tiffany Midge the Indigenous David Sedaris, and her new book of essays, Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s, is staking out her place in the genre of humour. 
Tiffany Midge's book of essays, Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese's, looks at the absurdity of modern life, politics, and what's it like being Native American in the United States. (Submitted by Tiffany Midge/Bison Books)
Listen7:03

Some call Tiffany Midge the Indigenous David Sedaris, and her new book of essays, Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese's, is staking out her place in the genre of humour. 

The book is a collection of essays about Midge's observations on life, politics, and identity as a Lakota woman living in the United States.

"There's just so much irony and so much absurdity in everyday living and everyday life, I just can't help but want to jot those down," said Midge.  

"[Writing] is a way to amuse myself, and just be able to use my imagination a lot … it's sort of a commentary that I have with myself, a conversation that I have with myself for the most part."  

One essay featured in the book, "An Open Letter to White Girls Regarding Pumpkin Spice and Cultural Appropriation," is a tongue-in-cheek look at the mass availability of pumpkin spice products.  

"I live in Washington state where it gets kind of nippy and there's a lot of … white culture surrounding pumpkin spice, and coffees and lattes, and it's kind of become sort of a running joke," Midge said. 

Midge added that her essay shouldn't be taken too seriously, but if you read between the lines, the essay examines deeper issues of consumer culture and cultural appropriation.  

"It addresses … a sort of privilege, especially with these big products like pumpkin spice which derive from Indigenous culture, like pumpkins, most definitely, like corn, beans and squash," said Midge.

Even though her essays are comedic, there's also a lot of vulnerability in her writing. 

"With humour it's not going to be funny unless it is vulnerable. I think it's one of the most vulnerable things that we could ever attempt to do, is to try to put jokes out into the world," said Midge.