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An Afternoon with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
The Words Festival is pleased to present the renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg writer and storytellerLeanne Betasamosake Simpson, who will be in conversation with Candace Brunette-Debassige.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson will join us to discuss her new novel, Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies,which combines narrative and poetic fragments through a careful and fierce reclamation of Anishinaabe aesthetics.

Mashkawaji (they/them) lies frozen in the ice, remembering a long-ago time of hopeless connection and now finding freedom and solace in isolated suspension. They introduce us to the seven main characters: Akiwenzii, the old man who represents the narrator’s will; Ninaatig, the maple tree who represents their lungs; Mindimooyenh, the old woman who represents their conscience; Sabe, the giant who represents their marrow; Adik, the caribou who represents their nervous system; Asin, the human who represents their eyes and ears; and Lucy, the human who represents their brain. Each attempts to commune with the unnatural urban-settler world, a world of SpongeBob Band-Aids, Ziploc baggies, Fjällräven Kånken backpacks, and coffee mugs emblazoned with institutional logos. And each searches out the natural world, only to discover those pockets that still exist are owned, contained, counted, and consumed. Cut off from nature, the characters are cut off from their natural selves.

Noopiming is Anishinaabemowin for “in the bush,” and the title is a response to English Canadian settler and author Susanna Moodie’s 1852 memoir Roughing It in the Bush. To read Simpson’s work is an act of decolonization, degentrification, and willful resistance to the perpetuation and dissemination of centuries-old colonial myth-making. It is a lived experience. It is a breaking open of the self to a world alive with people, animals, ancestors, and spirits, who are all busy with the daily labours of healing — healing not only themselves, but their individual pie

Nov 7, 2020 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
LEANNE BETASAMOSAKE SIMPSON is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg writer, scholar, and musician, and a member of Alderville First Nation. She is the author of five previous books, including This Accident of Being Lost, which, among many other honours, was longlisted for CBC Canada Reads and was named a best book of the year by the Globe and Mail, National Post, and Quill & Quire. She has released two albums, including f(l)ight, which is a companion piece to This Accident of Being Lost.