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    9780771007934 9780771007910 Electronic book text, EPUB
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    Distributor: Random House, Inc. Availability: On Sale Date:May 18, 2021 Carton Quantity:12 $32.95 CAD
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NISHGA
By (author): Jordan Abel
9780771007903 Hardcover English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / Native American & Aboriginal May 18, 2021
$32.95 CAD
Forthcoming 7.41 x 8.96 x 0.96 in | 1.48 lb 288 pages B&W ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT McClelland & Stewart
From Griffin Poetry Prize winner Jordan Abel comes a groundbreaking, deeply personal, and devastating autobiographical meditation that attempts to address the complicated legacies of Canada’s residential school system and contemporary Indigenous existence.

As a Nisga’a writer, Jordan Abel often finds himself in a position where he is asked to explain his relationship to Nisga’a language, Nisga’a community, and Nisga’a cultural knowledge. However, as an intergenerational survivor of residential school—both of his grandparents attended the same residential school—his relationship to his own Indigenous identity is complicated to say the least.

NISHGA explores those complications and is invested in understanding how the colonial violence originating at the Coqualeetza Indian Residential School impacted his grandparents’ generation, then his father’s generation, and ultimately his own. The project is rooted in a desire to illuminate the realities of intergenerational survivors of residential school, but sheds light on Indigenous experiences that may not seem to be immediately (or inherently) Indigenous.

Drawing on autobiography and a series of interconnected documents (including pieces of memoir, transcriptions of talks, and photography), NISHGA is a book about confronting difficult truths and it is about how both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples engage with a history of colonial violence that is quite often rendered invisible.

AUDIENCE: For readers of Terese Marie Mailhot, Alicia Elliott, Thomas King, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Tommy Orange, David Chariandy, and Teju Cole.

AN ESSENTIAL VOLUME FOR UNDERSTANDING THE CONTEMPORARY INDIGENOUS EXPERIENCE: NISHGA joins An Inconvenient Indian and Heart Berries as a must-read.

JORDAN ABEL is a Nisga’a writer from Vancouver. He is the author of The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Un/inhabited, and Injun (winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize). Abel’s work has recently been anthologized in The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century (Hayward), The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry (Anstruther), Best Canadian Poetry (Tightrope), Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing Within the Anthropocene (Wesleyan), and The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation (ARP). Abel’s work has been published in numerous journals and magazines—including Canadian Literature, The Capilano Review, and Poetry Is Dead—and his visual poetry has been included in exhibitions at the Polygon Gallery, UNIT/PITT Gallery, and the Oslo Pilot Project Room in Oslo, Norway. Abel recently completed a Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University, and is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta where he teaches Indigenous Literatures and Creative Writing.

Author Residence: Edmonton

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“With NISHGA, Jordan Abel has reinvented the memoir, incorporating personal anecdotes, archival footage, legal documentation, photos and concrete poetry to create an unforgettable portrait of an Indigenous artist trying to find his place in a world that insists Indigeneity can only ever be the things that he is not. Abel deftly shows us the devastating impact this gate-keeping has had on those who, through no decisions of their own, have been ripped from our communities and forced to claw their way back home, or to a semblance of home, often unassisted. This is a brave, vulnerable, brilliant work that will change the face of nonfiction, as well as the conversations around what constitutes Indigenous identity. It’s a work I will return to again and again.”  —Alicia Elliott, author of A Mind Spread Out on the Ground
 
“In NISHGA, Jordan Abel puts to use the documentary impulse that has already established him as an artist of inimitable methodological flair. By way of a mixture of testimonial vignettes, recordings of academic talks, found text/art, and visual art/concrete poetry, Abel sculpts a narrative of dislocation and self-examination that pressurizes received notions of “Canada” and “history” and “art” and “literature” and “belonging” and “forgiveness.” Yes, it is a book of that magnitude, of that enormity and power. By its Afterword, NISHGA adds up to a work of personal and national reckoning that is by turns heartbreaking and scathing.” —Billy-Ray Belcourt, author of NDN Coping Mechanisms and A History of My Brief Body 

"This is a heartshattering read, and will also be a blanket for others looking for home. NISHGA is a work of absolute courage and vulnerability. I am in complete awe of the sorrow here and the bravery. Mahsi cho, Jordan.” —Richard Van Camp, author of Moccasin Square Gardens

“Jordan Abel digs deeply into the questions we should all be asking. Questions that need no explanation but ones that require us to crawl back into our bones, back into the marrow of our understanding. NISHGA is a ceremony where we need to be silent. Where we need to listen.” —Gregory Scofield, author of Witness, I Am

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