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Sweetgrass Burning: Stories From the Rez


5 in stock

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“Sweetgrass smoke and winter storms haunt Barbara Robidoux’s stories. Fierce, yet tender, her characters’ struggles with tragic legacies and invasive industries will touch your heart and bring you to the rez in all its complicated, generous glory.” –Eden Robinson

“Barbara Robidoux is a master storyteller. With ease, she weaves together the connections of Native people who have long known one another and their ancestors. The North Point Reserve is a community with open doors, the people inviting us in to feed us their stories. Inside each person’s words is their life as it was in recent years. We travel this map of reservation lives, recognizing the people. Their dwelling places become located in our own hearts. This incredible writer takes us on her journey of humanity and mystery. Along the way, the stories come together with her brilliance, her seeming ease of style. Robidoux has the unique ability to reveal all our strong and broken ways of being in this world.”–Linda Hogan

“In Sweetgrass Burning Barbara Robidoux introduces you to characters so lovable and human you’ll quickly come to call them family. Navigating the fictional setting of the Northpoint reservation in northeast Maine, Robidoux’s linked stories powerfully show a community surviving through humor, compassion, cooperation and tradition.”–Chip Livingston

Sweetgrass Burning: Stories from the Rez is a collection of linked short stories that transports readers into the lives of Indians who live at Northpoint, a fictional reservation in northeastern Maine. The reader is invited to participate in everyday events which confront this community, as well as struggles against corporate interests to take over tribal land for profit (LNG), the opening and rapid closing of a tribal bingo hall, and the revenge of three elder ladies (The Snoop Sisters) who cast their humor and rage against prejudiced neighbors in a non-Indian town which borders the rez. Characters open their hearts to tell us sometimes angry and often humorous stories of what it takes to stand by their culture and language in the face of state and federal government pressure to assimilate. In Northpoint, population 800, you’ll meet Dous, the Snoop Sisters, Molly, Gregory, Ricky, all irresistibly interesting members of this tribal community, and get wrapped up in these characters, but even more wrapped up in the plot.

Barbara Robidoux (Eastern Tsalagi (Cherokee)) is a poet, storyteller, and lover of the earth. She lives in northern New Mexico where she roams the mountains and mesas of sacred places, making offerings for their renewal. Before moving to New Mexico, Robidoux lived on the Passamaquoddy Reservation in Maine, where much of her fiction is set. She is the author of three books of poetry and two short story collections. Her fiction has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Yellow Medicine Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Dawnland Voices, and numerous other anthologies. Robidoux holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts, an MA from Vermont College, and a BA from the University of New Hampshire. Her latest collection of poetry, Stirring Sorrow Into Soup will be released by Finishing Line Press in spring 2021.

Additional information

Weight 0.675 lbs
Dimensions 6.0 × 9.0 × 0.75 in