Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe with Tayi Tibble — 'Thunder Song: Essays'

The author of the award-winning memoir Red Paint returns with a razor-sharp, clear-eyed collection of essays on what it means to be a proudly queer indigenous woman in the United States today.

Third Place Books is thrilled to welcome back local author, artist, punk, and poet Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe to our Lake Forest Park store! LaPointe returns for a discussion of her new collection of essays, Thunder Song, and will be joined in conversation by poet Tayi Tibble. This event is free and open to the public.

"A breathtaking collection. LaPointe writes resonantly about what it means to be Indigenous on her own colonized land, forging her own path in a liberatory yet overbearingly white punk scene, and cogent, heartfelt reflections on contextualizing family trauma without neglection its effects on her. An excellent addition to the modern essay of the self."
—Sophia H, Third Place Books bookseller

For important updates, registration is highly recommended in advance. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!

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About Thunder Song. . .

Drawing on a rich family archive as well as the anthropological work of her late great-grandmother, Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe explores themes ranging from indigenous identity and stereotypes to cultural displacement and environmental degradation to understand what our experiences teach us about the power of community, commitment, and conscientious honesty.

Unapologetically punk, the essays in Thunder Song segue from the miraculous to the mundane, from the spiritual to the physical, as they examine the role of art—in particular music—and community in helping a new generation of indigenous people claim the strength of their heritage while defining their own path in the contemporary world.


Praise for Thunder Song. . .

Electric Literature, A Most Anticipated Title & A Must-Read Queer Book of the Year

"With Seattle, the Puget Sound, the entire Pacific Northwest Coast at its heart—history both ancient and very new—it's hard not to love this series of essays with my entire being. Sasha is both one of our finest teachers and our coolest punks."
—Spencer Ruchti, Third Place Books Author Events Manager

"Lyrical prose elevates LaPointe’s incisive and heartfelt personal reflections. The result is a beautifully rendered snapshot of contemporary American Indigenous life."
Publishers Weekly

"These passionate essays, adamant in their activist pleas, reflect hard-won wisdom, as well as the representative significance of the author’s experiences. Probing and poignant reflections on Indigenous America."
Kirkus Reviews

“Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe’s essays in Thunder Song are loud, bold, and startlingly majestic. None of Sasha’s examinations fail to find truth: page after page, the intersections of family, heritage, history, and music build to countless transcendental moments for the reader, which is not only the magic of this book but a clear testament to Sasha’s immense storytelling power. She is a major talent. Thunder Song is masterful and wise, and it will not be forgotten.”
—Morgan Talty, author of Night of the Living Rez

"Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe's essays are the songs that twine us together, the stories that teach us how to live, and the directions through the deep forest where our medicines grow. For everyone who keeps singing and telling and listening, Thunder Song is a heart-balm and a gift."
—Elissa Washuta, author of White Magic

"Thunder Song is testimony, prayer, song. It is an announcement—that a Two-Spirit woman has stepped into her power. It is living proof that loving oneself can be a radical act of decolonization. It is at once a protest against Indigenous erasure and a powerful reminder that Indigenous peoples have part of the answer to the burning question of how to get out of the horrible, planetary mess that we're in. But more than all this, Thunder Song is the literary equivalent of plant medicine. In it, Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe gathers the stories and sacred herbs of her lived experiences (and her people’s) and makes a medicine of her own—to heal herself and, in turn, everyone else. An offering of rare beauty in this broken world."
—Julian Aguon, author of No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies and founder of Blue Ocean Law

Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe is a Coast Salish author from the Nooksack and Upper Skagit Indian tribes. She is the author of Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk, winner of a Pacific Northwest Book Award, the Washington State Book Award for Creative Nonfiction/Memoir, and an NPR Best Book of the Year, and the poetry collection Rose Quartz. She received a double MFA in creative nonfiction and poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She lives in Tacoma, Washington. (Photo credit: Bridget McGee Houchins)

Tayi Tibble (Te Whānau ā Apanui/Ngāti Porou) was born in 1995 and lives in Te Whanganui a Tara, Aotearoa. In 2017, she completed a master’s degree in creative writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington, where she was the recipient of the Adam Foundation Prize in Creative Writing. She is the author of Poūkahangatus. (Photo credit: Pelham Dacombe Bird)

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Third Place Books Events Code of Conduct: Third Place Books is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of event attendees and guest authors, during both online and in-store events. By registering for this event, you are agreeing to refrain from engaging in inappropriate behavior and harassment of any kind throughout the course of this event (i.e. racial slurs, profanity, hate speech, spam comments, etc.). Please note that any participants who engage in inappropriate behavior or harassment of any kind will be immediately ejected from the event.

For media inquiries, access inquiries, or questions about our Covid-19 policies, please email or call our Lake Forest Park store at (206) 366-3311.