My Body is a Book of Rules (2014)
Creative Nonfiction. Women Studies. Cultural Studies. Memoir. Indigenous Studies, Cowlitz Indian Tribe.
Adopted at: The Ohio State University, Susquehanna University, DePaul University, University of Minnesota
As Elissa Washuta makes the transition from college kid to independent adult, she finds herself overwhelmed by the calamities piling up in her brain. When her mood-stabilizing medications aren’t threatening her life, they’re shoving her from depression to mania and back in the space of an hour. Her crisis of American Indian identity bleeds into other areas of self-doubt; mental illness, sexual trauma, ethnic identity, and independence become intertwined. . . read more
Latinx Studies. Creative Writing. Women Studies. Cultural Studies. Indigenous Studies, Makah Tribe.
Adopted at: The University of Notre Dame, Oklahoma State University, University of Idaho, Seattle University, Institute of American Indian Arts
Fleeing the shattered remains of her marriage and treachery by her sister, a Latina anthropologist named Claudia takes refuge in Neah Bay, a Native whaling village on the jagged Pacific coast. Claudia yearns to lose herself to the songs of the tribe and the secrets of a spirited hoarder named Maggie. Instead, she stumbles into Maggie’s prodigal son Peter, who, spurred by his mother’s failing memory, has returned seeking answers to his father’s murder. Claudia helps Peter’s family convey a legacy delayed for decades by that death, but her presence, echoing centuries of fraught contact with indigenous peoples, brings lasting change and real damage . . . read more
The Nightlife (2017)
Poetry. Indigenous Studies, Osage Nation.
Adopted at: Boise State University
In The Nightlife, Elise Paschen explores the nocturnal world and what happens in that interval between “dorveille” and daybreak. She reveals, through dream lyrics and fractured narratives, the inevitability of unrecognized desire and the drama between the life lived and the life imagined . . . read more
Open the Dark (2020)
Poetry. Indigenous Studies, Inupiaq Tribe.
Marie Tozier’s Open the Dark is an exquisite collection of poems depicting a generational tapestry woven with the shared ebb and flow of land and sea and time. Loving hands, dyed sweet with raspberries and lingonberries, pass ancestral knowledge—of the hunt for seal and crab to pressing ironless, ruler-straight seams—from grandmother to mother, mother to daughter. This is a collection that beckons, like a mother’s warm embrace, into the vibrant scent and taste of Inupiaq Alaska . . . read more
Under Nushagak Bluff (2019)
Fiction. Indigenous Studies, Yup’ik Tribe.
In 1939, everything changes for Anne Girl when outsider John Nelson grounds his sailboat on the shores, into Anne Girl’s skiff, and into her life during a rare storm in the Alaskan fishing village of Nushagak. When Anne Girl and her mother Marulia find their skiff flattened by John’s boat, Anne Girl decides she both hates and wants him. Thus begins a generational saga of strong, stubborn Yup’ik women living in a village that has been divided between the new and the old, the bluff side and the missionary side, the cannery side and the subsistence side . . . read more
After the Dam (2016)
Fiction. Indigenous Studies, Ojibwe Tribe.
Undone by motherhood, judged by her husband, thirty-two-year-old Rachel Clayborne flees with her baby in the middle of the night for the one place on earth that’s been her refuge: her grandmother’s lake house in northern Wisconsin. Hoping to reconnect with a former, healthier self, she instead faces a confused and dying grandmother, her controlling and possibly gold-digging nurse, and a changed ex-boyfriend?her first and most passionate love. As a constant rain threatens the nearby dam, Rachel struggles to discern what’s happened to the past, who she’s become, and what kind of a life she will make for herself now?one that clings to ghosts or opens bravely to a wild new geography . . . read more