A Cree Coming of Age

Book - 2019 | First US edition
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"As a small boy in remote Alberta, Darrel J. McLeod is immersed in his Cree family's history, passed down in the stories of his mother, Bertha. But after a series of tragic losses, Bertha turns wild and unstable, and their home life becomes chaotic. Meanwhile, he begins to question and grapple with his sexual identity--a reckoning complicated by the repercussions of his abuse and his sibling's own gender transition. Thrillingly written in a series of fractured vignettes, and unflinchingly honest, Mamaskatch--"It's a wonder!" in Cree--is a heartbreaking account of how traumas are passed down from one generation to the next, and an uplifting story of one individual who broke the cycle in pursuit of a fulfilling and adventurous life"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Minneapolis, Minnesota : Milkweed Editions, 2019
Edition: First US edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781571313874
Call Number: BIO 971.20049 MCLEOD 2019
Characteristics: 228 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

As a small boy in remote Alberta, McLeod was immersed in his Cree family’s history and learns to be fiercely proud of his heritage. But after a series of tragic losses, his home becomes unstable in this unflinching memoir or how trauma can be passed from one generation to the next.

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Jul 08, 2020

A sad and shocking memoir told in a series of vignettes about the author's childhood and life as a young Cree man who suffered physical, mental, sexual and religious abuse at a very young age. The subtitle "A Cree Coming of Age" really hit me when I realized how quickly Darrel had to grow up and become responsible for his mother and for protecting his younger siblings from his mother. It was sickening to read about how guilty Darrel felt about being abused; he somehow thought it was his fault and suffered so much shame. I wanted to reach through the screen and take that little 12 year old Darrel in my arms and say "It's not your fault, you did nothing wrong." Through his expressive stories the reader goes on a journey with Darrel to begin healing and acceptance of his true spirit and being. It is very hard to read but I am glad I read it.


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