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.
“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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