This Accident of Being Lost

This Accident of Being Lost

Songs and Stories

Book - 2017
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2017 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Finalist

This Accident of Being Lost is the knife-sharp new collection of stories and songs from award-winning Nishnaabeg storyteller and writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. These visionary pieces build upon Simpson's powerful use of the fragment as a tool for intervention in her critically acclaimed collection Islands of Decolonial Love. Provocateur and poet, she continually rebirths a decolonized reality, one that circles in and out of time and resists dominant narratives or comfortable categorization. A crow watches over a deer addicted to road salt; Lake Ontario floods Toronto to remake the world while texting "ARE THEY GETTING IT?"; lovers visit the last remaining corner of the boreal forest; three comrades guerrilla-tap maples in an upper middle-class neighbourhood; and Kwe gets her firearms license in rural Ontario. Blending elements of Nishnaabeg storytelling, science fiction, contemporary realism, and the lyric voice, This Accident of Being Lost burns with a quiet intensity, like a campfire in your backyard, challenging you to reconsider the world you thought you knew.

Publisher: [Toronto] : Astoria, 2017.
ISBN: 9781487001278
Branch Call Number: FIC Simps
Characteristics: 123 pages ; 22 cm

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lydia1879
Jul 18, 2017

Simpson uses fiction as a vehicle to tell the truth.

And when fiction feels true, or real, it makes it all that much better. Her short fiction has distinctive multiple voices but I can feel her author’s touch in all of them and she makes me think about how I could be a better author or writer.

Her work as a musician means that her poetry reads and sounds like music. What I adore about her poetry is that it is not forced, it does not feel abstract in any way, I understand almost all of her poems which is a rare thing. Sometimes, with other authors, I just have to accept that if I read a poetry collection, I’m reading it for the language but not so with Simpson’s work.

Her work is so grounded and unapologetic — it’s sentimental and sweet and her creative feels sacred, like nothing can touch it. I love that when I read her works I feel like she’s there within the story itself. She’s not a puppeteer, steering the character’s from above, but she’s weaving the story like a tapestry and telling it as she weaves, so that I feel like her fiction is a living, breathing thing.

Simpson feels like someone who is so surrounded by fiction that it just pours out of her. I actually also really enjoyed how she wrote social media interactions in her short fiction. They feel actually authentic rather than manufactured and forced, as though writing on social media or using hashtags is somehow beneath all other authors. How many books have we all read that feature teenagers talking to each other via text using random acronyms and anagrams and bizarre vocab that we, as young people who regularly use social media, have never even seen before?

Although, I will be curious to see how this book ages. What will happen to Instagram in 10 years time? Although Simpson doesn’t reference it directly, it’s odd to think about the fact that technology will change so much in the next five years, let alone 10.

Her writing was so commanding but she felt so comfortable in her prowess. I loved this book.

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