#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 HILARY WESTON WRITERS' TRUST PRIZE FOR NONFICTION
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2019 BY THE GLOBE AND MAIL • CBC • CHATELAINE • QUILL & QUIRE • THE HILL TIMES • POP MATTERS
A bold and profound meditation on trauma, legacy, oppression and racism in North America from award-winning Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott.
In an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about the treatment of Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma, Alicia Elliott offers indispensable insight into the ongoing legacy of colonialism. She engages with such wide-ranging topics as race, parenthood, love, mental illness, poverty, sexual assault, gentrifcation, writing and representation, and in the process makes connections both large and small between the past and present, the personal and political—from overcoming a years-long battle with head lice to the way Native writers are treated within the Canadian literary industry; her unplanned teenage pregnancy to the history of dark matter and how it relates to racism in the court system; her childhood diet of Kraft Dinner to how systemic oppression is directly linked to health problems in Native communities.
With deep consideration and searing prose, Elliott provides a candid look at our past, an illuminating portrait of our present and a powerful tool for a better future.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
When you read Alicia Elliott’s debut essay collection, you get a guided tour of one of Canada’s most insightful brains. The book maps out the cultural critic’s life as a member of the Tuscarora First Nation and her tangles with far-reaching family trauma caused by colonialism. Elliott’s style is clear, powerful, and wonderfully wry: Hamburger Helper carries as much symbolic weight as (not) dancing at a powwow—one is shorthand for poverty, the other reflects the complexities of Indigenous identity. Fearless and unflinching about harrowing subjects, A Mind Spread Out on the Ground is essential reading for anyone who doesn’t want humanity to keep repeating its mistakes.